Why do we talk this way? Either a patient needs treatment or they don’t. Phase I treatment is often more difficult than comprehensive treatment for a litany of reasons. Why would we charge less for it? Why wouldn’t we charge for comprehensive treatment if a patient needs it later in life? You charge for treating easy comp cases who didn’t have Phase I don’t you? We aren’t “doing it over” or “doing the same thing again” as we fear parents will say. Generally we put those thoughts and words in the parents’ mouths and bring our fears to fruition as we often do. We are generally addressing orthopedic issues early and orthodontic issues later. Either the patient needs treatment or they don’t no matter their age. Either you would do the treatment you suggest on your own child or you wouldn’t. Either we are taking care of people to the best of our ability irrespective of time or money or we are not. Why the hell do we put artificial, random labels on treatment and why are we afraid to charge for the work we do?

I can’t come up with a single good reason other than that’s the way we have always done it.
The Phase I/Phase II model is so deeply ingrained in us that I don’t think it would have occurred to me to ask this question before we changed our pricing to one fee for everything. Because of this I was asked the question by several people “what about phase I treatment?”. And the logical answer is that either a patient needs treatment or they don’t and if they need treatment then the fee is what it is. Ironically, with our new pricing, “two Phase treatment” is more expensive than it was when my pricing for treatment was much higher (read more traditional) and I think this is wholly appropriate and logical now that I’ve changed my paradigm. The world is a funny and interesting place when we’re able to escape our preconceived notions!

PS There are a couple exceptions to the rule. I do offer upper 2×4 treatment to correct minor issues – usually socially driven treatment – that take less than 6 months for a smaller fee (but I don’t do this much and I also give this kind of treatment away to younger siblings as often as not). The other exception is GuaranteeMySmile.com where I guarantee patient satisfaction and will put braces back on for free and charge monthly for treatment once comprehensive treatment is finished. These two are more marketing and differentiation than anything else and are designed to attract patients and address specific issues thus supporting the main practice goal – to start patients.

11 thoughts on “Two Phase Treatment?

  1. Interesting. What is your scripting for the inevitable “Why is Kid B the same price as Kid A, when it seems Kid B is not nearly as severe?”

  2. Have never had anyone ask this question. This is something we put in their heads. I’ve had a couple parents complain that they paid much more (before we changed the price) but I expected much more of that than I got and I just say “well if I’d raised the price would you be asking for the new price then?” And that usually settles it.

  3. Excellent article, Ben.
    Could you elaborate on one price for all types statement?

  4. You can check it out on our website. ARsmiles.com
    3995 for braces. Everyone gets the same fee.

  5. So which patient “needs” a phase I- treatment in your opinion? Cross-Bites / large overjet / early loss of milk molars (placeholder)?

  6. Anything that is causing damage needs to be addressed and I will also intervene to insure adult teeth erupt through keratinized gingiva. I’ll treat class III cases early but almost never attempt class II correction. I used to do a lot of herbsts but I don’t do class II correctors any more as I’ve written about.

  7. what about invisalign or clear? same price for all or you upcharge for invisalign?
    thank you

  8. When we decided to get serious about invisalign we did it for the same price as braces for several months but now it’s more than just braces. Clear or metal is the same price when it comes to braces.

  9. So if a child needs “Phase 1” this is done for $3995 (to fix crossbite, etc) and then appliances are removed. When they come again for evaluation for Phase 2 is the fee $3995 again – – or are you saying the $3995 takes care of all treatment ‘cradle to grave’?

  10. Each and every time a patient is in need of treatment then it is 3995. It doesn’t matter how old they are. There are a couple exceptions to the rule as mentioned but it’s pretty simple. Sorry I wasn’t clearer.

  11. Thanks Ben – – that’s awesome

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