Dos and don'ts for elective dentistry: Present cosmetic services effectively

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Patients want to look their best even in a down economy. After all, weddings and other life events continue to occur, and it's even more important for people to have confidence in their smiles during job interviews. Moreover, elective dentistry can help boost production with the patients you already have.


Perform a cosmetic exam on every patient. The annual comprehensive exam should always include a cosmetic component. This helps patients gain a better understanding of their current esthetic condition, while identifying diagnosis and treatment options. During the cosmetic part of the exam, use a shade guide and other visual aids to show the type of improvement patients can expect to achieve through appropriate elective treatment.


Don't overwhelm patients with technical details. Dentists tend to focus on the clinical aspects of cases, while patients are more interested in lifestyle benefits. Cosmetic procedures can enhance a patient's self-confidence and quality of life, which are exceptionally powerful results. Remember, the goal of case presentation is to motivate -- not overwhelm -- patients.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group. You can connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn more strategies and share ideas. Also, check out Dr. Levin's free practice management videos at

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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