A Customer-Driven Practice
The dental industry is consumer-driven. Data shows that most patients shop around for a dentist based on customer review sites and referrals. With expanded marketing opportunities now available through social media and internet marketing, referrals from friends and family remain the number one source for attracting new patients. Practices that understand that consumerism is continuing to take hold in dentistry also understand how crucial it is to perfect the customer experience, which ultimately improves dental patient retention.
Focusing on the customer experience means creating a customer-driven practice. Burbank Dental Lab understands how critical our role is in supporting a dentist's responsibility to patient expectations. The synergy between the laboratory and the dentist is an essential component. Burbank Dental Lab is a leader in developing services that ensure patients become life-long raving fans.
One of the key ways to do this is to focus on improving overall case success. From diagnosis to treatment, this process creates a successful journey for the customer within the practice. A well-planned case, utilizing the best restorative materials combined with the latest technology, ensures the patient's needs are met or even exceeded. A patient who has gone through a flawless dental experience can become one of the best marketing messengers within the practice. Burbank Dental Lab has made perfecting the customer journey one of our primary goals. As a result, we are one of the most technologically advanced dental labs in the area with highly-trained technicians that can support a case from concept to finished prosthesis. The following is a list of ways to improve this journey and create an exceptional patient experience:
1. Create a system for predictable results (Smiles By Design®)
The communication between the patient, dentist, and the dental lab is essential in providing an exceptional customer experience. Every successful case starts with a well-thought-out plan. Case planning will ensure that cases have all of the necessary information to fabricate restorations that are predictable and lessen the potential of remakes or adjustments. Smiles By Design® is Burbank Dental Lab's systematic approach in supporting the dentist from case diagnosis to delivery. Smiles By Design® cases will ensure that your designated technical support representative will personally go through all of the following with you:
Read and comprehend your prescription
- Evaluate study models
- Analyze functional issues and occlusal clearance
- Review intraoral images
- Implement quality control at each phase under magnification to ensure the fit, contours, shade, and overall plan were followed
- Evaluate material selection
- Plan the outcome with the use of diagnostic wax-ups and various matrix guides to facilitate the desired result as it was intended.
The best way to utilize Burbank Dental Lab's Smiles By Design® process is to get a Smiles By Design® specialist involved in the case from the beginning. Then the process of evaluating a case will require the following:
- Study models
- Full face forehead to chin
- Lips at rest
- Close-up of smile
- Shade pictures
- Preliminary plan to understand desired goals and limitations
- Diagnostic wax-up
- A putty stent of the wax-up for temporaries
- Prep-guide and Prep stent
Restorative dentistry requires adequate planning. Through these steps, cases are handled with the end in mind. Customer satisfaction is increased, and the patient experience is enhanced. The Smiles By Design® team works to find any potential problems and creates solutions that will ensure predictable results.
2. Incorporate digital dentistry workflows
The plan is just the beginning. The accuracy of each step is critical in creating outcomes that will have patients talking about their experience. Digital dental workflows have brought about a massive and welcome change to the industry. The use of technology that provides a faster and better service is an essential factor when patients are selecting a dentist. Specifically, intraoral scanners are a great technology to improve the patient experience. Intraoral scanners increase the level of accuracy when it comes to digital impression taking. This increased accuracy ensures better fitting restorations fabricated and placed in a shorter amount of time. Scanned images also reveal more details that can be shared with patients so that they can understand the need for a specific treatment plan.
Also, intraoral scanners provide digital impressions that can be instantly sent over to the lab and evaluated in real-time. As a laboratory that adopted digital workflows early in its development, Burbank Dental Lab has been involved in thousands of scans. Burbank's digital scan team can review the scan and consult on the specifics of the case and advise if the preparation design and digital impression is accurate while the patient is still in the office.
Other benefits of intraoral scans include:
- No impression materials needed results in less spent on overhead
- Quicker dental appointments as scans are much faster than traditional methods
- Improved accuracy of the restoration decreases insertion time
- Patients have an easier time with digital scans, as traditional impressions can cause gagging.
However, digital impressions must be accurate to offer any benefit. This is true whether the impressions are traditional or digital. The preparation must correlate to the desired material choice, and margins and gum tissue must be adequately treated to provide an adequate scan. The following are some tips to consider to improve intraoral scans:
- Provide the lab with the following three scans:
- The preparation
- The opposing
- The bite
- Manage the margins and soft tissue. The sub-marginal line must be able to be seen clearly for the scanner to provide an exact image. For subgingival margins, to reveal a clear margin, the tissue must be retracted.
- Slow the scan process and stay on each area long enough to capture the necessary anatomy.
- Missing gingiva can be avoided by rotating the scanner to capture at least 4-5mm of the patient's soft tissue.
Digital impression taking can significantly improve the patient experience by making this step much more pleasant and time-saving. As with any new technology, there is a learning curve, and Burbank Dental Lab is available to help with information to make digital dentistry a significant advancement in your practice.
The dental market is very competitive, and practices need ways to stand out. The most successful businesses are those that have customers that are true fans. In a world where experiences are captured and shared with people in real-time through social media platforms, having customers that are praising their experience and sharing them are extremely important for continued business growth. Creating systems that ensure smooth, predictable outcomes that far exceed new patient dental expectations is critical to creating customer experiences that will have patients raving.