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a blog by Chris Barrow

Why digital dentistry is good for business

Henry Schein’s 6th Digital Symposium will be taking place on Friday this week in London and the host/speakers will be extolling the virtues of dazzling innovations in manufacturing, production and supply that have taken place in the last 12 months.

I wanted to add my own two-penny worth to this conversation after a recent meeting with an independently owned practice who have fully committed to digital dentistry.

My comments relate to the Key Performance Indicators and benchmarks that I have used for my last 20+ years to monitor the financial performance of the practice.

Everything is changing – the financial paradigms of the past are now being replaced by new numbers.

I have just reviewed the client’s profit & loss statement for the last year. Insofar as KPI’s are concerned:

  1. Lab fees are down

  2. Material costs are down

  3. Staff costs are down

  4. Net Profit before taxation is up

Digital dentistry may well be great for patients – let me tell you it’s great for profitability.

Business consultants like me and organisations like NASDAL are going to have to keep an eye on the KPI’s because they are a-changing.

Before you race off with your cheque book, can I please remind you that your patients aren’t as interested in all the new technology as you are.

Patients are interested in:

  1. impression-free dentistry

  2. understanding more about the end result of their treatment before they consent

  3. appreciating why you may be able to deliver work with greater accuracy and less risk

Which is why I’m slowly working with my “dentally digitised” clients to create emotional marketing collateral that demonstrates the BENEFITS of digital dentistry and not the FEATURES.

We are creating social media posts/videos, blog posts and newsletters articles that allow patients to tell their own stories about how digital dentistry has made their experience better.

It’s OK for the manufacturers to get all excited about the FEATURES and to have a conference about them – I totally applaud that (and wish I was there but I’m speaking at an LDC conference in Nottingham).

However, your banker, your accountant and your spouse will want to understand the VALUE CASE when you announce a significant capital investment (how are we going to get our money back?).

Your patients will want to know the BENEFITS before consenting to treatment.

Please make sure you are giving the right messages to the right people at the right time.


NEEDS – nobody really needs digital dentistry

BENEFITS – are attractive to patients (teach your TCO’s and clinicians to extol them)

FEATURES – are attractive to dentists (don’t bore or blind the patient)

VALUE CASE – is attractive to the investor (and business coach)

I love digital dentistry – deployed correctly it is great for business and even better for the bottom line.

I’m seeing the results with my own eyes.

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