To Specialize or to Generalize? Is Your Practice Ready to Take on More Denture Patients?

Doctor watches as her patient admires his new smile while sitting in the operatory.
January 10, 2024
To Specialize or to Generalize? Is Your Practice Ready to Take on More Denture Patients?

More patients switching to fixed dentures means more case acceptances for you!

Thanks to advances in dental technology and increased patient education, more and more patients are exploring their options for permanent tooth replacement options. Aging baby boomers saw how their own parents struggled with traditional dentures and may not want that fate for themselves. As a result, the demand for specialized procedures is increasing, but is your practice prepared to meet these needs? One way to accommodate this shift is by narrowing your scope of services. 


If you dream of one day having a streamlined, profitable dental practice that practically runs itself, focusing on one specialty service may be your answer. Dr. John Poovey and Dr. Brandon Wilcox of JP Dental and Implant Center made this dream a reality when they dropped all general dentistry services and fully transitioned to being an implant and denture practice. This may seem risky, but they felt comfortable taking this bet because they had a powerhouse product they could rely on. By going all in on LOCATOR FIXED®, they were able to take their practice to new heights and find more work-life balance for themselves along the way. If you want to learn how you can scale your practice this way, listen to their testimonial below. 

“When we started doing [LOCATOR FIXED®], the amount of implants that we got to place went up significantly, because more patients are accepting treatment plans to do fixed prosthesis with 4, 5, or 6 implants!” - Dr. Brandon Wilcox

 

Should you streamline your practice offerings?

When considering streamlining your practice offerings, be sure that you’re honing in on a service you are passionate about. For Drs. Poovey and Wilcox, this was a no-brainer. They could see how much of an impact implant placements were making on their patients. To take it one step further, they wanted to be able to offer these implant patients an affordable permanent, full-arch solution and LOCATOR FIXED® fit that bill. Even patients who didn’t think they could afford a whole new smile were blown away by the convenience, comfort, and renewed confidence that was now possible. For Dr. Poovey and Dr. Wilcox, this meant that by narrowing their practice’s scope, they were able to increase their economy of scale, add value for their patients, and find more meaning in their work.

The Benefits of Offering Fewer Services

Instead of spreading yourself too thin, by being a “do-it-all” practice, you may want to consider the impact of offering fewer services. While it might seem like you could be cutting yourself off from potential patients, you may actually be opening yourself up to more case acceptances than ever before. Here are a few reasons why that may be: 

  • Patients know what to expect – All patients, but especially patients who are undergoing a complex procedure such as replacing their smile with implant-retained dentures, want to know exactly what to expect at any given appointment. By specializing in a select few services, your patient will be able to mentally compartmentalize and minimize stress by knowing that only one specific area of their treatment will be addressed at a time. It makes it easier to break it up and prevents them from feeling overwhelmed by the whole process. They’ll be able to think to themselves “okay, at my next appointment, all we are doing is taking impressions. I can handle that!” 
  • Patients can more easily find you – In today’s chronically-online world, patients are doing their own research, learning about their dental treatments, and googling specialized services. When a prospective patient does a specific search for “implant and denture dentist” you’re more likely to appear at the top of the search results if your online presence reflects your specialty. In addition, you’re more likely to be at the top of the patient’s list if they can easily see that the service they’re interested in is what you do all day, every day. They will feel confident knowing that they are coming to someone who doesn’t just do this type of service every once in a while, but instead is an expert in this area. It instills a sense of trust before they even meet you!
  • Training staff becomes easier – Just as you can benefit from becoming an expert in one specific area, you will also see your team shine when you narrow your practice focus. As they increase their skills and knowledge of a specific treatment, you will notice that their confidence increases and they are better able to predict the needs of both you and the patient. You may even be able to start letting them take on more steps and responsibility, leaving you with more time to see other patients or even take a vacation!
  • Re-ordering and re-stocking is less of a hassle – Instead of having to keep inventory on cosmetic, preventive, and restorative materials at all times, you’ll be able to focus on simply re-ordering the handful of tools and materials you need to complete your specialized procedures. For example, if you become a LOCATOR FIXED® practice, you would simply need to make sure you have your starter kit, and then only need to remember to reorder your processing packs and inserts needed per case.

 

Of course, all these benefits need to be weighed against your own unique wants, needs, and skills. There is no cookie-cutter blueprint for scaling a practice, but there are paths you can take to align your goals and your skillset. For example, if you absolutely love doing general dentistry and enjoy that every day is a new adventure with a variety of services, reducing your service offerings might not be for you. Instead, you might find more benefit in simply doing a “service audit” to see which services are profitable and/or which are outdated.

What are your practice goals for 2024?

No matter which direction you take your practice, Zest Dental Solutions is here for you. It is our goal to serve the ever-evolving needs of dentists, doctors, and dental professionals by providing industry-leading products and helpful resources. As such, we would love to hear from you! What are your practice goals for 2024? Join the conversation by interacting with us on Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook. If you have a question for us, feel free to contact us and a member of our team will happily assist you.