Is Patient Finance Crucial for Dentists to Market Themselves?

According to research from Barclays Business Banking, the UK dentistry industry is booming.


There are various aspects to how dentists can market their services to be sure they are part of this success.


One is word of mouth recommendations from patients. This is why having leading edge dental chairs and other equipment is so important for enhancing the patient experience.


However, for commercial dentists to make their treatments more marketable, they must also consider how to make it easier for patients to pay for them.


This is where patient finance plans can be crucial in helping business growth.



Why Patient Finance is Good for Marketing


Finance plans are simply another way for patients to pay for what they want. It makes them more affordable.

However, what patients want, and what they need, can be very different things.


If dentists are going to be successful in offering cosmetic and other elective treatments, they must find ways persuading patients to choose them.


For example, whitening is a popular treatment that dentists report patients ask for, except that most people visiting a dental practice may not ask for treatment at all.


In other words, asking for treatments, even popular ones, is still less commonplace than going for treatments that are necessary for good oral health.


Things are changing, but not to the extent that dentists can take demand for granted.


Which is where financing comes in.


Having a facility to make it easier for patients to pay for treatments they want, rather than need, is going to make them more likely to take that crucial decision to have them.



Looking for the Perfect Smile


According to the Barclays research, over a quarter of people surveyed in the UK said they were unhappy with their smile.


Over 80% of dentists say that celebrity culture has contributed to this increased dissatisfaction, and to a big increase in demand for dentistry work.


59% of people surveyed said they were willing to spend money to achieve the perfect smile.


Meanwhile, Barclays also reports that it has seen the number and value of loans to dentists double over the past two years.


More dentists are realising the marketability of cosmetic and other specialist treatments, and patient financing is a means of persuading more people to choose them.



Delivering Treatments


If dentists can offer patients attractive financing options, then they remove the big barrier to advanced and elective dental treatments, cost.


It also gives them more scope to offer a range of treatments, because the affordability financing offers means patients will have more choice.


For example, they could choose a ceramic crown rather than a gold or porcelain one.


Obviously though, if this form of marketing works in persuading them to sign up for the treatment they want, rather than what they need, then the dentist must deliver a premium experience.


This is a critical part of the process.


If the experience does not match the patient’s expectations, then the dental practice loses whatever marketing gains it has made with its financing offer.


This applies even when the treatment is complete and paid for.




Because, as we mentioned earlier, word of mouth recommendations are vital part for promoting dental practices.


“Dentists can only truly capitalise on the rise in demand for treatments if the various strands of their marketing and services come together. This includes promotional material, financing plans and the patient experience.”

Pete Higson, RPA Dental