A Changing World Necessitates Rewriting a Classic
Increase Invisalign case acceptance with this 6-step consultation protocol
Jeffrey Chustckie, DMD
As I started thinking about how to implement my new philosophy of first listening to what is important to patients and then presenting treatment options to directly address their concerns, I realized I had an extremely valuable asset available: The Invisalign Outcome Simulator. When combined with the iTero Element, I had a way to help patients visualize their treatment and the end result before we even began.
Patient case acceptance immediately improved, and it soon became obvious that we had stumbled onto something great. Although we knew our stats were going up, we wanted to compile a couple of months’ worth of results before we performed a year-over-year comparison of case acceptance. When we finally performed the comparison, we discovered that we were running 200% to 300% higher and successfully maintaining our numbers. In conjunction with these changes, I introduced a “Cyber Monday” promotion, offering tooth whitening and a limited-time discount. By the end of the year, I had 34 new Invisalign case starts and increased my case acceptance rate to greater than 80%.
The best part of this approach is that it is adaptable. The protocol, which any practice should be able to implement and see an improvement in Invisalign case acceptance, includes the following six steps:
1. Initiate the Invisalign consultation by introducing the patient to the iTero Element Scanner. The assistant briefly explains what it does and performs the 3 to 4 minute full-arch iRecord® digital scan.
2. After the assistant has completed the scan, we show the patient a 2 minute “How It Works” video from Invisalign.
3. I come in and introduce myself, have a brief introductory conversation, and pull up their scan on the iTero Element screen. I focus the discussion on the patient’s chief complaints and what made them interested in Invisalign.
4. As we are talking, I run the Invisalign Outcome Simulator. This simulation allows me to display 3-dimensional “before” and “after” images to demonstrate the results of treatment. The impact of a patient’s ability to visualize the result is the key to case acceptance and becomes the driver of the rest of the conversation. Whether it’s cosmetic, periodontal, or occlusion related, the patient’s primary complaint is exactly what the conversation focuses on. I also address any other concerns the patient may have during the consultation.
5. The patient is then introduced to my finance coordinator, and during this hand-off, I vocalize that it is her job is to make the procedure as affordable as possible for the patient. My office offers three financing options: interest-free financing for 24 months (through Care Credit), scheduled, automatic credit card payments for a maximum of 10 months, and payment in full with an upfront discount.
6. Once treatment has been accepted, we complete the consult and discuss such things as attachments, interproximal reduction, staging, and aligner wear and care.
By concentrating the focus on what the patient is concerned with, and pairing these concerns with the results of the Invisalign Outcome Simulator, we’ve changed the entire dynamic of the consultation. Patients can easily see their exact concerns and conditions literally erased before their eyes. And don’t be afraid to experiment. My method might not fit exactly into your practice, but it can be used as a guide. Identify what works for you and your team and then build on that. Digital scanning with the iTero Element is a game changer. The impact of the scanner and the features of its proprietary software, such as the Invisalign Outcome Simulator, Progress Assessment, and TimeLapse, are changing the face of our practice. Utilizing the iTero Element scanner allows for a 2 to 3 week case turn around, instead of the 5 to 6 weeks needed using a polyvinyl siloxane impression, and eliminates the possibility of rejected impressions. Consider what effect the increased time of delivery of a patient’s first aligners has on their motivation and desire for treatment, as well as your practice’s cash flow. There’s just no reason to not be digital in this day and age. If you haven’t yet made the move, do it today!
About the Author
Jeffrey Chustckie, DMD, is the leading general practice provider for Invisalign in New Jersey, having completed over 1,000 cases. He is also an Invisalign Faculty Speaker, presenting throughout the United States, and participates in Invisalign clinical research studies and consulting services.