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5 Steps to Get Your Dental Practice Debt under Control

5 Steps to Get Your Dental Practice Debt under Control - Infographic

Many dentists are experiencing a significant increase in practice debts, largely due to the fact that more people than ever are unemployed or simply cannot afford to purchase dental insurance. If you are a dentist who is struggling with high amounts of practice-related debt, the tips below could help you get it under control and to the point where it is more manageable in the long term.

1. Assess Your Cash Flow

This can be done by logging the figures for net production and collection over the past year, the percentage of patient accounts that have been outstanding for 90 days or more and any amounts that are being repaid monthly for loans, leases and/or business credit cards (if applicable). Other expenses to consider include dental supplies, lab fees, salaries, benefits, taxes and any other expenses that you pay for each month. This will enable you to see whether you have enough money coming in to cover your costs each month or not.

2. Hire a Professional to Evaluate your Finances

After assessing your cash flow, it’s a good idea to have a professional evaluate your financial situation and determine what the best method(s) will be to reduce the amount of debt your practice has. In some cases, a financial expert may recommend loan consolidation or even finding premises that you can purchase at a better rate than you are currently paying for a rental agreement or lease so that you can reduce expenses. Once you are able to successfully reduce your expenses, you will be able to channel more money towards repaying any existing practice debt.

3. Ensure that Bills are Mailed ASAP

If you only send out bills 30 or even 60 days after dental work has been done, you stand a far higher chance of not being paid than if you had billed the patient immediately. Implement a policy whereby invoices are sent to patients or their respective health care providers within a day or two at the most, as this will help improve payment rates substantially.

4. Be Proactive About Debt Collection

After you’ve found ways to reduce your monthly debt repayments, it’s time to implement a system whereby outstanding accounts are followed up on timeously. Although it may cost you an additional salary each month to hire a dedicated person to do this, in most cases, you will be able to recover far more than that amount in outstanding debtor accounts within a week or two at the most. Additionally, it will help take a lot of stress off other employees, who will then be able to better serve your patients.

5. Implement the Use of SimplePay

Most patients only get approximately half of their dental treatments covered by insurance, which means that many of them will either request that they can repay it over a specified amount of time or worse, default on the balance completely. However, if you introduce them to SimplePay, they will be guaranteed to receive the treatment they need, while you as the dentist will be able to rest assured that you will be paid in full for the work you have done.

Keeping your practice debt under control will not only enable you to manage your finances in the best way possible; it will help relieve a significant amount of stress for you as well.

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7 Features of a High Performance Dental Website

7 Features of a High Performance Dental Website - Infographic

As a dentist, you will want to ensure that your patients are easily able to find information about you and your practice online – preferably by means of your dedicated website. Below are 7 crucial elements that need to be incorporated into your dental website.

1. Clear Navigation

Your dental website should be as easy as possible for site visitors to navigate. Tabs for various pages such as ‘Contact Us,’ ‘About Our Practice,’ ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ or ‘Blog Posts’ should not only be placed in such a way that they are easy for visitors to see and click on; they should be labeled as clearly as possible as well.

2. A Blog Section

Most patients that visit your website will be eager to find out as much as possible about the products and services you offer at your practice. The easiest way to share this information with them is by means of blog posts or even press releases – especially if you are running promotions or discount offers.

3. Security

If you are going to enable functionality on your site for patients to pay for dental services online, it is imperative that you secure your site by means of an SSL certificate. This will ensure that their personal and financial information is kept secure and confidential at all times.

4. Social Media Integration

Nowadays, dentists who are not on social media don’t stand much chance of being in business for much longer. As a result, it’s imperative that you create a presence for your practice on at least one or two social media sites. Some of the more popular sites include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Be sure to include ways for clients to connect with these profiles through your website.

5. A Clean Design

As a dentist, you will want to convey a message of professionalism to your clients. This can be done by keeping your website’s design as uncluttered as possible. Refrain from using too many colors and/or cluttered looking templates when designing your site.

6. An ‘About Us’ Section

When potential patients arrive at your dental site, they will want to know what services and products you offer without having to call your practice. Providing an ‘About Our Practice’ page that lists your most popular offerings will let patients know what you can provide for them.

7. Responsive Design

More of your patients than ever before will be browsing your website on their smartphones or tablets, which means that your site will need to accommodate this trend. Using a 100% responsive design or template will enable all of your site visitors to enjoy full website functionality – and Google will rank your site higher than those that are non-responsive.

Ensuring that all of the above mentioned features are incorporated into your dental practice’s website will ensure that you have the marketing edge over your competitors. It will also ensure that your patients find it as easy as possible to browse your site and make use of the features and information that are available on it.

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Ways to Stop Putting Off your Dental Treatment and Afford Dental Care Today

Stop Putting Off your Dental Treatment - Infographic

Do you need to have dental treatment performed, but have been putting it off for longer than you care to admit? When questioned about why they delay treatment, most people state that they simply cannot afford the high cost of having dental work done – along with being afraid of the dentist, of course! Below is some handy advice that will help you get the dental care you need – when you need it.

#1 – Ask for Discount

Many dental practices will do everything they can to prevent patients from going elsewhere for treatment, including offering discount to anyone who is able to pay cash upon completion of the work. If you don’t have dental insurance and are going to be paying cash for your treatment, don’t be afraid to ask for discount. In most cases, you could get anywhere between 5% and 25% shaved off the price when doing so – as the saying goes, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get.” There may even be instances where a dental service provider will be willing to give discount if your bill is paid within 30 days of having treatment as well.

#2 – Consider Having Treatment Done in Stages

In a lot of cases, it is possible to have your dental work done in stages. For example, if you have numerous cavities that require filling or root canals that need to be performed, you can have 1 or 2 attended to at a time and pay upon completion as you go. You can then take a break in between to save up and pay cash for the rest of your treatment or you can even find out whether your dentist offers an instalment-based payment or budget plan such as that offered by SimplePay. This system will enable you to get the treatment you need and repay the amount owing in affordable instalments.

#3 – Inquire about the Possibility of Financing

These days, many dental practices realize that very few patients can afford to pay for their treatment in full at the time of having it done. This has resulted in them opting to implement the SimplePay system at their practices. Unlike many other systems, all patients who apply for credit will be approved, meaning that you will not have to wait in agony while trying to find a way to pay to have your dental work done. In addition, SimplePay is one of few payment plan systems where you will not pay any interest on the amount you owe for dental work that has been done.

Dental works is not something that should be delayed for too long, especially in cases where teeth are cracked, broken or have developed excessively large cavities. Putting it off will only result in you having to pay out even more money over the long term. When using a dentist that offers the SimplePay option, you will be able to rest assured in knowing that only a small amount will need to be repaid each month for it.

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How to Increase Patient Acceptance with a Dental Imaging System

Increase Patient Acceptance with a Dental Imaging System

Nowadays, dentists are able to perform a fantastic range of procedures – many of which were unheard of a decade or so ago. Imaging technology has advanced to the point where it is now possible for dentists to show their patients how they will look after having their dental work done – before doing anything. Below are some ways in which dentists can increase patient acceptance levels by embracing this form of technology.

#1 – Enable Patients to See End Results Beforehand

Most people – including dental patients – respond best to visual stimuli. In other words, dentists will stand far more chance of having patients agree to have dental work done if they can see the end results of how their teeth, mouth and overall smile will look before the first injection is even administered. Using a range of dental imaging devices and options will enable you as a dentist to show your patients how they will be able to benefit from having essential and/or purely cosmetic dental work done at your practice.

#2 – Inform Patients How safe it is

In years gone by, dental patients would have to have endured having numerous x-ray images taken of their teeth. Not only were these images extremely unclear; patients who had to have x-rays performed repeatedly would have been exposed to extremely high amounts of radiation as well. However, many dental imaging systems now rely on a tiny camera that is inserted into the patient’s mouth in order to obtain accurate images of the teeth and gums. This reduces the amount of exposure to harmful radiation for the patient and the dentist, making dentistry safer than ever before. If x-rays are still needed, they are usually done digitally now as well.

#3 – Show Patients How it Saves Time

Another great benefit of dental imaging systems is that they have been designed to provide imagery within a matter of seconds – unlike x-rays and other methods that used to take more than just a few minutes to develop and present to the patient. This enables patients to quickly see for themselves what is wrong inside their mouths and it also provides you as the dentist with an easy way to show them on a screen where potential problems are and how they are going to be attended to.

#4 – Available Types of Dental Imaging Systems

Among the most common types of dental imaging systems are intraoral x-ray sensors and digital panoramic x-ray systems. Intraoral units replace standard x-ray systems, while digital panoramic systems are able to capture a single image of all of a patient’s teeth at the same time. Dental cone beam systems enable dentists to get a better view of the parts of a patient’s mouth where implants are going to be inserted, while the available range of imaging software products that are available do a great job of showing everything to a patient in great detail.

Being willing to embrace dental imaging software and products will enable you as a dentist to retain an existing client base as well as improve patient acceptance rates in general.

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