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“No thanks, not today. Let’s just do what my insurance will cover.”

You probably hear some variation of those words dozens of times a week.

Things were different 10 years ago.

You could walk in, present a treatment recommendation and expect that a majority of patients would take you up on it.

Not anymore.

Most dentists these days have a case acceptance rate way south of 50%.

25% is more like it.

So why are 3 in 4 of your patients rejecting the treatments you know they need?

Some of the factors are beyond your control.

The economy. Insurance cutbacks. Patients’ hectic schedules.

But one thing you can control is how you present treatment recommendations, and most practices have a lot of room for improvement here.

How so?

Let’s look at things from your patient’s perspective.

Here’s your patient, nervously tapping his foot.

He’s flat on his back, staring into a blinding light, and wishing (let’s just be honest) that he was just about anywhere else.

While he tries to blink away the tears stinging his eyes, people in masks and gloves poke and scrape at his gums and teeth.

Occasionally he steals a glance at the machinery around the room—but quickly averts his eyes when he spots the tray full of bright, point implements.

This scene is just another day at the office for you, but for your patient, it’s a scenario that’s tailor made for triggering anxiety—and the primal “fight or flight” instinct.

Now in you walk, with his charts in your hand and a look of concern on your face.

You pull up a stool and start explaining that you’ve discovered a problem, and it needs attention.

And how much would all this cost?

$8,000.

Your patient … who’s already sweating bullets … is hearing you say that he needs to spend the cost of a serviceable used car …

To fix a problem he didn’t know he had 2 minutes ago …

And that’s not causing him any immediate pain or discomfort.

That’s a tough case to make.

So how can you start to turn this around?

The first step toward improving your case acceptance is this:

Get the patient to ask YOU for the treatment.

You can do this by keeping the focus on the problem—and its eventual consequences—as you talk to the patient.

Show them VISUALLY what a healthy mouth should look like, and contrast it with the disease that’s breeding in their gums.

And when your patients see the problem, and understand that it truly is THEIR problem …

They’ll ask you what the next step is.

At NextLevel Practice, we’ve developed a powerful tool to help you with this. We call it the Healthy Mouth Baseline.

The Healthy Mouth Baseline is a visual representation of a completely healthy mouth.

This tool will get you and your patient on the same page about their oral health—and the work that’s needed to ward off future threats.

Practices that adopt the Healthy Mouth Baseline and our other Complete Health tools typically see their case acceptance soar from 25% to 67%.

Their patients are healthier and happier, and their revenues increase as well.

To get the Healthy Mouth Baseline for use in your practice today, and learn more about how you can make the transition to Complete Health Dentistry, just go here:
Healthy Mouth Baseline Download

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It was a simpler time, the 1950s.

Most homes had just one TV, and it was tuned to one of just three stations.

Kids could roam the neighborhood without ending up on a milk carton.

Gas cost 25 cents a gallon, and monstrous cars guzzled it gleefully.

And as a dentist, you could just hang out a shingle and watch the patients start cruising through your front door.

A lot has changed in dentistry over the last 65 years.

We’ve taken major leaps forward in technology. Seen the advent of new cosmetic procedures and developed new treatments for gum disease.

So why, then, are most practices still relying on the same tired old business model that dentists used more than half a century ago?

Today, dentists elbow each other in crowded office complexes, scrapping for the same limited pool of patients.

And those patients know it’s a buyer’s market: They’re more than happy to drop you the minute the guy down the street undercuts your price by $19.

You can’t hope to run a profitable practice if you’re trapped in this price war.

But there IS good news in all of this, and here it is:

Patients today are increasingly better informed and more savvy.

And while it might seem like they’re only interested in price shopping, that’s not really the case.

Yes, they will gravitate toward the cheapest price if presented with a group of lookalike providers.

But what they REALLY want isn’t the lowest price.

No, they’re looking for the best VALUE.

People will gladly pay more for a service when they know that it provides a better value.

And what today’s patients value … what they expect and demand … is care that enhances the quality of their entire lives.

To meet this demand from patients, more and more providers are turning to Complete Health Dentistry.

When you make the switch to the Complete Health model, it elevates the value of the care you provide in your patients’ eyes.

You’re no longer one of a dozen interchangeable “molar jockeys.”

Your patients know that you’re in their corner, helping them to battle chronic disease.

You’re their healthcare hero.

And as a result, you’ll find your days booked solid.

Patients will accept more of the treatments you recommend.

And then they’ll pay you. Happily, and in cash.

To see how you can join the Complete Health movement—and finally escape the dental price wars—go here today:
Get started with the 1st step of our curriculum

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If you’re like many dentists, the care you want to provide for your patients and the care you actually provide are two very different things.

You want to provide your patients with the complete care that’s best for their oral health–including preventative care and cosmetic treatment in addition to the basic treatments.

But often you find yourself settling for routine cleanings–and coping with the inevitable emergencies that crop up when patients aren’t taking the steps necessary to prevent long-term problems.

How do you get out of this rut?

The first step is realizing that you’ve bought into a powerful myth: That patients only accept care when they’re in significant, persistent pain.

There’s certainly a grain of truth in this myth.

You’ve probably tried–and failed–to convince patients that a preventative treatment today would head off more serious problems, only to see patients reject your advice time and time again.

Then, months down the road, you get that emergency weekend call and wind up doing an after-hours root canal.

Pain is a powerful motivator, it’s true.

But most patients would rather avoid it entirely when the choice is clearly laid out for them.

What’s really at play here isn’t pain–it’s value.

When a patient is in physical pain, the value of the service you provide is clear and immediate: The pain stops.

The way that most dentists present preventative treatments, the patient doesn’t see any immediate payoff. The treatment seems like an expensive luxury, a “nice to have” rather than an urgent need.

And in most cases, the patient will decide to hold off.

The key to getting patients to work with you to maintain their oral health is elevating the value of preventative treatments in their minds.

The primary tool that allows you to create this perception of value is education.

During every visit, your entire team, from your hygienist to your treatment coordinator to you, must work together to educate your patients and show them–visually when possible–the inevitable consequences of neglect.

Do this right, and you won’t spend time arguing with patients about treatment or selling them something they don’t want.

Instead, they’ll ask for the treatment–even demand it.

They are counting on you, their champion in the battle for good oral health, to help them avoid pain.

For tools and information that will show you how you can improve your patients’ well-being through education, join the Complete Health Dentistry movement today:
Get started with the 1st step of our curriculum

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Why don’t more people go to the doctor?

Medical experts continue to puzzle over that question.

Even though more people than ever have access to health care, millions of people still refuse to go to the doctor for the routine checkups that can help detect disease in its earliest stages.

And nearly a quarter of people don’t even have a primary care physician.

There’s no single reason why people opt out of smart preventative care.

For some, cost may be a factor. But even people with good incomes and access to health insurance avoid going to the doctor.

Fear is a big contributor for others.

Some people will deliberately avoid going to the doctor if they suspect that something serious might be wrong, as if refusing to get a diagnosis would somehow stop the disease in its tracks.

Still other people know they have unhealthy habits, but they don’t want to hear lecture about eating more vegetables and exercising more.

Contributing to this fear is the fact that most people no longer have a personal relationship with their doctor.

The model of the family doctor has all but disappeared. Now patients are matched up with whatever physician in the group has an opening at 10:45 a.m.

Patients don’t develop a trusting bond with their doctor, and so they simply avoid seeking help.

But while many of these patients may only see a physician once or twice in a decade, there is a medical professional that they visit every six months, like clockwork:

Their dentist.

People are more likely to see the same dentist year after year, and they learn to trust their dentist.

And dentists make a habit of scheduling follow-up visits before patients leave the office, while most general practice doctors leave it up to the patient to take initiative and schedule a physical.

As a result, dentists see their patients much more frequently than physicians do.

This puts dentists on the front lines of healthcare.

As dentists, we have the trust of our patients, and we see them often enough that we can spot the early warning signs of chronic illnesses like cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Sadly, many dentists don’t realize the important role we have to play in caring for our patients’ overall wellness. We’re trained to look at patients as a set of teeth, rather than a whole person.

The Complete Health Dentistry movement is breaking down the artificial wall that prevents dentists from taking our place as champions of our patients’ health.

To see how you can provide better care for your patients, join the Complete Health Dentistry movement today:
Get started with the 1st step of our curriculum

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Health care in the U.S. has reached a tipping point.

The U.S. ranks No. 1 in the world for health care spending. Every year, Americans spend more than $3 trillion dollars to stay healthy.

Most of the dollars spent go to combating chronic disease–conditions like cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes. More than 75% of health care costs in the U.S. are associated with these chronic diseases.

But it’s not working. Despite the massive spending, the U.S. has rates of chronic disease that are twice that of Europe and four times as high as countries like Mexico, China and India.

These costs are largely unnecessary. Most chronic disease is preventable if it’s recognized and treated before it has time to take hold.

Unfortunately, the U.S. health care system is forever stuck in a reactionary mode: Find a problem and fix it.

Often, by the time chronic disease comes to the attention of a doctor, it’s too late. It’s much more expensive to put out a fire than it is to prevent it in the first place.

If current trends continue, health care costs will continue to eat more and more of the nation’s resources, until there just isn’t enough to go around.

Very soon, we’re going to have to make a choice: Either begin rationing out expensive treatments for chronic disease, or take the rational steps required to prevent the need for expensive care from ever arising.

The right way to address this issue is to take positive steps to reduce patients’ suffering and avoid the unnecessary costs of long-term care.

And while it’s not yet widely recognized, dentists have a critical role to play in shifting from reactionary to preventative care.

Dentists are on the front lines of the health care industry. Most people see their primary care physician less than once a year. Worse, they may avoid going to the doctor if they suspect that there may be something really wrong.

But those same people are in the habit of visiting their dentist every six months, like clockwork.

That means dentists are in an ideal position to spot early warning signs of serious disease, like runaway systemic inflammation or even cancer.

For that to happen, dentists must start treating the patient as a whole person, rather than just a set of teeth.

The goal of the Complete Health Dentistry movement is to foster this type of whole patient care.

Dentists with a Complete Health approach to their practice don’t just check for cavities and ask patients if they’ve been flossing.

They engage patients in a conversation about their overall health.

They perform checkups to detect early warning signs of disease and refer the patient to other medical professionals.

And their patients keep coming back, because they know their dentist is looking out for their wellbeing.

Take your place on the front lines, and join the Complete Health Dentistry movement today:

Click here and start the 1st step of our curriculum.

 

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Imagine this …

You’re pedalling down the street, wearing your bike helmet.

You glance back over your shoulder to check for traffic. Your eyes dart back to the road ahead
and …

A smartphone zombie steps directly into your path.

Reflexively you jerk the handlebars, and you’re thrown headfirst to the pavement.
Shaken, you pick yourself up.

Your right hand took the brunt of your fall. It’s an oozing mass of raw meat.

But instead of tracking down the nearest emergency room, you shrug, wipe it on your pants and
hop back on your bike.

Days later, your hand is showing signs of infection. It’s red and swollen, and it bleeds when you
wash it or pick up a glass of water.

No big deal, you think, it’ll clear up on its own…

Most people wouldn’t even think about letting a serious injury like this go untreated.
But millions of Americans do something just as dangerous every day by ignoring the warning
signs of periodontal disease–inflammation of the gums and the tissue and bone structures that
support the teeth.

The surface area of your gums is about the same size as the palm of your hand, and like any
other large, festering wound, periodontal disease can contribute to other serious health
problems if left untreated.

The infection keeps the body’s inflammatory defense mechanisms in a constant state of red
alert. This state of sustained inflammation can lead to chronic ailments like type 2 diabetes and
cardiovascular disease.

Unfortunately, most people ignore the warning signs of periodontal disease, like receding and
bleeding gums and persistent bad breath. As a result it’s frighteningly commonplace–half of all
Americans suffer from it, including many who think they’re in perfect health.

Dentists should be leading the charge to improve diagnosis and treatment of periodontal
disease, but many are still unaware of how serious this condition is and how harmful it is to the
patient’s overall health.

The Complete Health Dentistry movement provides resources like the Health Mouth Baseline to
help dentists develop a greater appreciation for the links between good oral health and overall
patient wellness.

To join the movement and get access to these resources, start here:
http://www.nextlevelpractice.com/products/

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Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you know what a patient really needs ….

But something inside you wants to hold back?

You can see the early warning signs of a diseased mouth–the tooth starting to go bad, the heavy tartar buildup.

You know how this particular movie ends: The patient will get an infection, or a case of periodontitis, or maybe even a serious chronic condition down the road.

And instead of giving it to the patient squarely, you sugar coat the situation.

“We’ll keep an eye on it,” you hear yourself say.

What causes that?

What’s stopping you from telling the patient what they need to do to stay healthy?

For many dentists, it’s the desire to be “nice,” to be liked by their patients.

It often starts on the first visit, when the patient says something like:

“Oh, my last dentist was so nice. I went to him for 10 years and he never recommended any of those expensive treatments.”

After that, dentists will hesitate before they bring up any topic more involved than brushing and flossing.

“If I start having these hard conversations with my patients, won’t they just go somewhere else?” they worry.

By trying to “be nice,” these dentists are really harming their patients. They’re putting their own comfort and desire to avoid confrontation above the patient’s overall well-being.

What would happen if you started having honest discussions with your patients about their oral health–and how it affects their overall health?

Would they all flee to the practice down the street?

That’s not what’s happened to the thousands of dentists who have joined the Complete Health Dentistry movement.

These dentists have committed themselves to providing a higher standard of care for their patients.

And far from losing patients, these dentists have found their waiting rooms jammed with enthusiastic patients who are happy to be there and appreciate that their dentist is looking out for them as a whole person.

If you’re ready to start offering your patients this higher level of care, we can provide you with a set of tools that will make it easy and natural for you to have these conversations with your patients.

For more information, go here;
Get started with the 1st step of our curriculum

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What a day. Booked solid to start with, and then the emergency root canal after lunch threw the entire schedule into chaos.

It’s 6:45 p.m., and you’re just now getting to your 5 p.m. patient.

“Doc, I’ve been bad again,” he blurts out as you greet him. “Haven’t flossed in months.”

You sigh inwardly.

Why do patients feel the need to confess this? It’s not like a single guilty admission is going to fix months of neglect.

And why can’t they follow the simplest of instructions? It seems so … lazy.

When your patience is worn thin after a long day, it’s easy to fall into the role of the disapproving parent.

But scolding patients who neglect their oral hygiene won’t fix the underlying cause of the problem.

In most cases, when people fail at basic daily tasks like this, it’s not because they’re lazy or lacking in discipline or willpower.

It’s not like they’ve consciously decided not to floss.

They simply forgot, because haven’t developed the habit yet.

Research shows that more than 40 percent of the actions we take every day are done purely out of habit–our brains go into autopilot, conserving mental energy for more important decisions.

Even if you’re tired and feeling a bit lazy, chances are you rarely leave the house without putting on your shoes.

Why? Because it’s an ingrained habit. Your “leaving the house” routine kicks in, and you grab your keys, phone and wallet, put on your shoes and head out the door, all without much conscious thought.

Harnessing the brain’s ability to develop automatic routines is one of the most effective ways to create lasting behavioral change.

Most people are peripherally aware of the basics of creating a new habit: Do something enough times, and it becomes habitual.

But because we’re so focused on the desired outcome–”Ugh, I really should floss my teeth”–we tend to set the bar too high initially. We’ll stick with the new behavior for a few days or a week, but after a while resistance kicks in and we fall off the wagon.

Instead, it’s better to focus on developing the habit itself, starting with an absurdly tiny step toward the eventual goal.

It’s a lot like when I learned to cycle. I simply thought of myself as someone who road a bike, but now I consider myself a cyclist. This all started from taking small actions and creating habits out of them. Something as small as keeping my head up! If I started out thinking I’d be the next Tour de France champion, I may of quit early. By promising myself I’d keep my head up for the next mile, I knew I could, and stuck with it.

Next time a patient admits they still aren’t flossing, resist the urge to lecture.

Instead, give the patient a challenge by asking them to commit to a tiny goal:
“After I brush my teeth, I will floss one tooth.”

That commitment seems laughably easy–how could you not do it?

But encourage them to do just this, and nothing more, for 14 days.

Have fun with it. Pick a specific tooth. Tell them that, after two weeks, they can get more ambitious and add in a second tooth, maybe even a third.

A month later, your patients will be reaching for their floss without thinking, and you’ll have helped them develop a healthy habit that will last a lifetime.

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Hi Complete Health Community,

Today I’m writing to tell you all about the importance of crucial conversations and to invite you to our webinar next week, July 31st, if you would like to learn more after reading.

Click here to gain access to next week’s session.

Now, Let’s get started.

Crucial conversations are critical in all areas of life and can be used by doctors and team members alike in the practice, home, with your significant other, etc. Today I want to focus specifically on the doctor and how this tool can create a huge impact in the practice.

When I am working with a dental practice, there are always three conversations that I feel are absolutely critical for dentists to have with their teams.

First and foremost is the “get rid of the baggage of your past” conversation, in which you tell your team, “The past is over. We’re going to start fresh and move on from this point forward.” Have a sit-down meeting with each member of your team. Let them know that this will be a genuine conversation unlike any you’ve had in the past. Ask, “Is there anything that affects our relationship, anything from the past, any agreement I haven’t kept, anything that keeps you from being fully engaged and giving your absolute best?” Listen to what they have to say, without judgment, determine what it will take to handle each issue raised, and handle them. Acknowledge any broken agreements from the past which your team reminds you of, and ensure you uphold them going forward, along with any new agreements made during this process.

Second, establish an agreement among all team members as to the standard for a truly healthy mouth. The standard should be a mouth in which all soft tissue is completely healthy, with no bleeding points and no recession, and no decay in the hard tissue. Once you have had the conversation to establish and verbalize this criteria with your team, you will find that 80% to 90% of all existing patients need some form of treatment. The importance of this team conversation can’t be overstated, because once this standard is set, you’ll soon find you have so much work to do on your existing patients, that you’ll need very few new ones.

Third, face the music and have the hard conversations with any team members who behave in an unprofessional manner – those who show up late regularly, come into work hung over, call in sick and show up the next day with a nice tan, or cause upsets with other team members. The dialog I recommend having, immediately, with these individuals, begins with “It’s no longer acceptable for you to operate this way.” Leave the meeting with an agreement from that person as to how they will behave in the future, and if that agreement is broken – if they continue to act unprofessionally – follow up with a verbal warning, a written warning, and finally dismissal. Most dentists simply don’t realize the amount of time, money, and energy they spend when they keep unprofessional members on their team. A growing, thriving practice simply can’t afford those wasted resources.

To learn more about how these types of conversations bring success to you and your team, check out our webinar next week, “Stop Settling, Make Changes”.

It’s happening July 31st from 1:00-1:30pm EST – you can sign up by clicking here. Not only will you learn how to master crucial conversations, we’ll be going over the Complete Health Dentistry model, as well as how to boost efficiency, profitability and harmony in your practice.

In Health,

The NextLevel Team
212-388-1712
www.nextlevelpractice.com