The face of dentistry in the post-coronavirus world is very different to that before the pandemic. With so many changes and no guarantee of when a COVID-19 vaccine will be made publicly available, it’s likely you’re re-thinking many aspects of your business, including your pricing.
Before you go ahead and make any hasty decisions, it’s a good idea to look over the advantages and disadvantages of charging your patients more for dental treatment.
Why you should charge more
Cover your increased costs
Running a dental practice after the COVID-19 pandemic will be more expensive than it was at the start of 2020. A rise in demand for PPE across many public-facing industries means the price of it isn’t going to drop anytime soon. Plus there’s also the increased cost of having to be more scrupulous than ever when it comes to sanitizing and disinfecting. The result is a more expensive day-to-day running of your business than ever before.
The reason you need to wear full PPE and thoroughly clean down every inch of your practice is to keep your patients safe. Because of this, you could argue that the additional expense should be passed onto your patients.
Increased risk for staff
Despite implementing the recommended protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the dental practice, your staff are still at risk with every patient who walks into your office. If your dental hygienist unknowingly contracts the coronavirus from a patient and continues to treat other patients and live a normal life for several days until she begins showing symptoms, the results could be devastating.
Increasing your prices post-COVID-19 would be one way of offsetting the medical bills if someone in your practice falls sick while at work.
Support your employees
If you kept your dental practice open for urgent treatments during the coronavirus pandemic, your employees are true heroes and they deserve your support. Some patients will naturally still be wary of visiting the dentists over fears of contracting COVID-19. This could mean your appointment schedule isn’t as full as you would have liked.
A reduced number of patient appointments could mean you’re forced to dismiss some of your employees. Employees who stuck by you and risked their lives during the pandemic by treating patients in a lot of pain. Being able to retain all your staff by increasing your treatment rates would be a great way to thank them for their hard work and sacrifice.
Why you shouldn’t charge more
During the coronavirus pandemic, almost everyone embraced the “We’re all in this together” mentality. Many people carried out acts of kindness to help their friends, family and neighbors survive during times when a lot of us were struggling with a lack of income.
Charging loyal patients higher rates when they’re most likely having money troubles could be seen as unethical. At a time like this, we should be continuing to work together and supporting each other instead of trying to take advantage.
If you try and charge your regular patients more for routine procedures, it’s likely they’ll simply go elsewhere. Not only that, but there’s a good chance they’ll pass on their experience to friends and family and will refer other patients away from you, too.
Before long, you’ll find yourself with too few clients to manage your dental practice as normal and will be forced to fire employees or reduce your operating hours. If you don’t recover your patient numbers, you could be left with no choice but to close your dental practice and find a job elsewhere.
Other options to boost revenue
Deciding whether or not to boost your dental treatment rates post-coronavirus is tough. On one hand, you’re trying to run a successful business and need to make enough money to keep your doors open. On the other hand, if you alienate your patients, you won’t have enough income to survive.
Fortunately, there are other options you can try to boost your practice’s revenue without increasing your rates.
Work with temporary staff
Working with temporary staff instead of full-time employees can save you a small fortune. With Cloud Dentistry, you can browse the profiles of 1000s of dental professionals and chat with the dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants you’ve shortlisted.
When you decide who you want to hire, you only pay for the exact hours worked and you don’t even have to think about employee benefits, such as vacation pay. There’s no complicated employee paperwork to fill out and Cloud Dentistry can even handle the payroll if it makes things easier for you.
When your practice is busy, you can increase your temporary staff’s hours. Then when things quieten down, you can lower the number of hours. If things pick up and you find someone you’d like to take on full-time, you can even do so without paying any permanent placement fees.
Become a Cloud Dentistry ambassador
If you’re already familiar with the benefits of using Cloud Dentistry for your business, you can generate extra income by becoming an ambassador. As an ambassador, for every dental practice you introduce to Cloud Dentistry that creates an account, you’ll earn 15% of all their purchases made within the first year.
You could boost your dental practice income by hundreds or thousands of dollars each month if you know a lot of practice owners.
Introduce more specialist treatments
Instead of increasing the rates of your current dental treatments, consider expanding your services with more specialist treatments which are naturally more expensive. This way, you’ll avoid losing income from referring patients to other practices.
Don’t worry about the increased cost of employing specialist dentists. You can hire part-time specialists with Cloud Dentistry exclusively for the hours needed to perform the treatment. You’ll keep your employment costs down to a minimum while enjoying the increased money from specialist treatments.
Improve your dental practice
After the COVID-19 pandemic, people are more aware than ever of the importance of hygiene. Help your practice stand out from the crowd and receive stellar recommendations by making a huge effort to keep your office as sanitized as possible.
Make sure there are plenty of hand-washing stations or antibacterial hand washes available throughout your practice, accessible tissues next to waste-disposal receptacles and full PPE for all your members of staff. When your patients see the work you’re putting in to stop the spread of infection in your dental practice, word will quickly get round and you’ll experience a boost in appointments.
It’s a tough call
Determining whether or not to raise your dental treatment rates to offset the higher price of supplies and increased staff risk is something that needs a lot of consideration. If you’re not sure whether raising prices is the right thing to do for your practice but you still need to make extra cash, know that there are plenty of other options available if you’re willing to get creative and be proactive.