Although most edentulous patients are candidates for dental implants, many of them may not give this treatment option serious consideration because of its cost. If you want to increase the number of implants you restore, you’ll need strategies and systems capable of overcoming this barrier.
Shifting the Perspective on Implant Cost
There’s no question that implants cost more—considerably more—than treatment alternatives such as bridges or dentures, not to mention the possibility of living with a missing tooth. However, modern consumers understand and routinely rely on two concepts that can make a high-priced product or service more appealing than a low-cost alternative:
- Value – What’s something really worth, not merely in monetary terms but overall? Implants have extraordinary value compared with other choices. They are the next best thing to natural teeth, in terms of appearance, comfort, function and convenience… and they’re permanent. If your patients understand that they will get much more value for their money by investing in implants, you’re that much closer to case acceptance.
- Affordability – On average, new cars cost an average of over $30,000, but how many people… how many of your patients… could hand over all that money in a lump sum? Most couldn’t. Car makers and dealers have “trained” consumers to think in terms of monthly payments. In other words, they make a new car affordable. That’s exactly what you must do with implants. Offer payment options that enable your patients to choose the high-value solution in a way that will fit into their budget. Outside financing through a reputable source is an especially attractive option in this regard.
Rethinking Case Presentation for Implants
Implants are want-based rather than need-based treatment, so when you present you should:
- Minimize clinical details. Some discussion of advanced implant technology will impress patients, but don’t dwell on the technicalities… which won’t be meaningful or persuasive.
- Focus on motivation rather than education. Ultimately, the decision to move forward with implants will be strongly influenced by emotions.
- Structure your entire presentation around benefits. The value of implants for patients is all about their outstanding benefits. Emphasize that when patients accept treatment they’re saying “yes” to the benefits they desire.
- Bring out the excitement of implants. Edentulous patients will feel excitement at the thought of having implants. Generate this positive feeling not only through what you say but also by showing your own excitement about the benefits of implants.
- Mention payment options to all patients. Don’t try to guess which patients may have reservations about the cost of implants. Everyone can benefit from affordability.
The market for implants is growing, as aging baby boomers experience a higher incidence of edentulism. By following these recommendations, you’ll be better able to take advantage of this outstanding opportunity.