Posts Tagged ‘Dentistry’

A Lakewood Dental Practice and the Economy

I recently spoke with Dr. Scott Greenhalgh, a dentist in Lakewood who provides cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry services to people throughout the Denver metro area.  I asked Scott what impact he has seen in his practice from the economic downturn.  Here are some of the things he told me:

A significant number of my patients are worried about their companies and their jobs. They are uncertain what is coming next.  Many are concerned about their benefits as some companies are cutting and downgrading benefits including dental benefits.

One of the largest trends in the last few months (November through February) has been that people have changed their appointments more often and more frequently. We have had a somewhat more erratic schedule. Our dental practice has coped by being a bit more flexible in our daily scheduling. In the past, things would have been solid and stable with the schedule for weeks ahead, now sometimes there are daily changes. In March and more recently we have seen a surge of new dental patients. It seems more like people have delayed their work, but are ready to get on with it again.

Many dental patients are looking for a better experience than they had with their last dentist. I regularly hear the same stories of patients having the same disappointments in their previous care — they didn’t explain anything to me, they didn’t fix my problem (I went, I spent a lot of money, but it still hurts…), I felt rushed, no one explained anything to me, they hurt me, they were in a rush…

One of the other trends has been we have a very dedicated base of patients. These people have been working on a master plan to improve their smiles and their bites. They knew already what they needed to do in ’09, set up their flex plans or organized their benefits and are still proceeding with what they need. These patients are not especially overwhelmed with their needs, and know they are making progress  toward their goal.

I can’t say we have seen a major shift in the types of dental procedures we are performing. The people who are prone to problems like toothaches, cavities, etc., still have financial concerns and still are doing patch up dental/emergency care.

With respect to cosmetic dentistry, the analogy I use relates to General Motors new car sales — at one point GM was down 40% in sales. What that means is that 60% of people are still buying new cars. Our practice has chosen not to focus on what is NOT happening, but rather on the 60% of people who are STILL buying new cars – or in our case – cosmetic dentistry work.

We still see a good number of patients coming in with aesthetic needs. Many come from our cosmetic dentistry website.  Many of these respond to testimonials and online reviews from other patients.  These people typically have been thinking about the appearance of their teeth and their smiles for quite some time.  Some people are just looking to whiten their teeth, but many of these new patients want a full smile makeover with porcelain veneers and we are fortunate to have financing options for them to ensure they can afford the smile they have always wanted.

Overall, we expect to grow our practice in 2009 as compared with 2008.  We have made a big commitment to having great staff, good communication, trying to deliver great results, to deliver what customers want, and to try to enhance their experience with us at each interaction. I believe that customer service skills and excellence are paramount in times like these. We are trying more than ever to have a real presence in our patients lives. We feel the commitment back from our patients as well, with many who have had insurance plan changes, still sticking with us. Even people who have moved out of town, continuing their care with us.

I think the best dental patients in the Denver area are out there searching for dentists who will really meet their expectations.

If you have questions for Scott, you can reach him at his Lakewood office – (303) 988-9060.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.