Australasian Dental Practice

Monday, 22 July, 2024

31 Mar 2012 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 40

Making the connection is a snap

Cosmetic Dentistry Marketing Software

One of Australia's private health insurers has been running a series of TV ads of late that see two people meeting up like long lost friends. They chat, reminisce and talk about the good old days. Quite obviously, they are the same person, though one looks in much better shape than the other.

The tagline goes something like, wouldn't you like to meet a "healthier" version of you? As a TV gimmick, it's effective, but think how much more effective it would be if you could see a before and after version of yourself after you undertook certain steps to improve your health? Here's what you look like now; here's what you would look like if you stopped smoking. Many people would quit in a heartbeat.

Whilst that may be a little way off from a systemic perspective, in dentistry, you can already show patients exactly how they will look before and after proposed treatment using clever software like SNAP Instant Dental Imaging.

Practically, SNAP software uses a digital photograph of your patient as a before image and then within a couple of minutes, allows you to simulate the treatment you are proposing to easily create an after image.

Emotionally however, SNAP effectively allows you to condense your entire treatment presentation regime into a single, poignant, emotive proposition... here is what you look like now and here is how you will look with a new smile.

Your patient has looked at that smile in the mirror every day of their life and suddenly they are presented with how they could change, what in many cases, is an aspect of their appearance that they have been concerned about for years.

Treatment presentations often concentrate on the steps and processes involved in delivering treatment; conversely, SNAP is all about the outcome - put simply, accept treatment and this is how you will look.

SNAP does not replace the need to treatment plan, nor present a detailed explanation of the treatment you are proposing, alternative options, risks and costs; rather, it is a "closer"... a way to crystalise in the patient's mind exactly why they are here and why they are considering treatment.

Dentists already use before and after images of past cases as well as many other "tools" to help patients understand what the outcome of proposed treatment will be. As effective as these tools are, there is nothing better than when the person you are looking at in the before and after images is you.

SNAP is a key communication tool that assists every dentist in articulating the aesthetic benefits of treatment to patients. It is a way of ensuring the time you have taken to diagnose and to analyse the best options for treatment that will meet the functional and aesthetic requirements of the patient is communicated in a way that removes as many barriers to acceptance as possible.

And, if treatment is not accepted on the spot, then the patient leaves with a print-out of the before and after images that act as a continual reminder.

The most profitable areas of dentistry are completing complex treatment plans, whereas the least profitable area is presenting complex treatment plans that are not accepted. SNAP will remove a number of barriers to treatment acceptance and introduce "desire" to counter the rest.

Regardless of your prowess on the tools, if treatment is not accepted, then the time taken to diagnose and develop the plan has been wasted. Worse still, the needs of your patient have not been met and your relationship has, subliminally at least, been tarnished.

One final point: whilst practically any dental procedure can be simulated using SNAP, it does not change your abilities as a dentist or the possible treatment options for any given situation. At all times, the simulations created must reflect treatment that is both possible to achieve and within the bounds of your level of expertise to deliver.

Dr Sam Rogers is in private practice in Perth, WA.

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