Marcos White on how scanning has increased practice growth

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Stop talking, start scanning: Dr Marcos White reveals the secret to working smarter

Dr Marcos White
Dental Tribune UK & Ireland

Dental Tribune UK & Ireland

Tue. 4 April 2023


“Imagine finding out you can better care for patients, be more profitable, have better record keeping and deliver more predictable results, all with skills you already have and a tool you already own,” challenged Dr Marcos White of the Courtyard Clinical Academy in Huddersfield, speaking during a Working Smarter with Digital presentation.

The first event of 2023, staged by Align Technology, heard Dr White tell attendees how his practice now takes a scan of every patient to build trust and conversion, plus to create better practice efficiency and ultimately profits. His academy now how six iTero intraoral scanners, but he says the first made an immediate and significant difference to his business.

“We saw 33% growth over 12 months with the first iTero we ever bought. When we added a second scanner we saw it leap up again. The reason it worked was because it prompted greater case acceptance - more people said yes to larger treatment plans. Digital tools impress patients, they create stories. The sheer act of showing patients their problems and the solutions on-screen blows their mind and builds their confidence in you,” he told delegates.

He stressed that scanning during a consultation allows patients to see their own problems, creating a “massive change in revenue” because a scan allows patients to not only visualise their dental problems, but also how those problems can be fixed. And he added: “The more we can use the software within the iTero scanner to showcase an outcome, the easier it is for a patient to buy into what we're talking about.” He adds that seeing their dental problems for themselves, also leads patients to ask questions, which creates an engaging way for his team to demonstrate their oral health to them.

He used a recent example of a patient who’d arrived at his practice wanting new veneers, but more seriously, didn’t have back teeth. Their scan also revealed periodontal problems. The patient didn’t want false teeth, so Dr White and his team were able to treat her with dental implants.

“As in this case, what we’ve discovered time and again through this process is that there's a co-discovery going on and that the best idea in the world is always the patient's ides, as they ask questions and come up with the solutions, they end up with something that they wanted, not something we told them they needed. And that is massive,” he said.

Using scanners has also enabled Dr White to reengineer the check-up process from a 10-minute appointment every six months, to one 20-minute appointment he calls a Dental Health Assessment. This new way of working gives every patient a scan and x-rays, plus time to discuss their oral health and any treatment needed. “Plus we handed the 500 hours of check-ups to our hygiene therapy team, which freed up unbelievable amount of capacity for the dentists,” Dr White told the webinar, adding that the new way of working also has other benefits.

He said the digital scans not only enable automated diagnostics and build a bank of scans per patient, but also build loyalty to the practice. “We've now got circa five years of scans for some of our patients. It creates a bond with your patient that they won't want to lose.”

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