Important: Strategies for Orthodontists Dealing With the Coronavirus

Our latest podcast is a special one to address the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis and how it is affecting the orthodontic industry. Our industry relies on in-patient treatment to be effective – there is no getting around that. But we can help mitigate the impact it has on our patients as we practice safe social distancing and even temporarily close our offices. Part of that strategy includes telehealth technologies to help you continue to serve your current patients and even attract new ones.

In this podcast we talk about our strategies to help orthodontists get through this crisis and we speak with Dental Monitoring CEO & Founder Philippe Salah.


WATCH: Take Back the Easy Cases

Have you been watching our Monday Motivation series? Check them out by following us on Facebook and LinkedIn. We publish a new video every other Monday morning.

In case you missed it here is our most recent Monday Motivation video… What happened to the easy cases? Have we let opportunity slip through our fingers? Taking back the easy cases is the subject of our video today. How can we recapture what we lost and change the conversation about independent ortho practices.


READ Our Latest JCO Article: Disrupt the Disrupters of the Orthodontic Industry

I’m going to drop some truth on you right from the start. You might have a solid, traditional marketing program that brings in patients, but it is not going to be enough. The long game isn’t in your favor, because new technologies are emerging all the time to eat away at your business as your clientele gets younger and more technologically savvy, demanding convenient services and almost entirely digital communication.

To quote the great philosopher Yogi Berra, the future ain’t what it used to be. The orthodontic industry has changed, and there’s no going back. Conventional private, fee-for-service practices are finding it harder to compete for a smaller slice of the same pie. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) clear aligner treatment options are commoditizing our business, causing downward pressure on fees and automating services to the point where a segment of orthodontics is as transactional as an Uber ride…

Click here to read the full article.

Our Next Podcast Guest: Dr. David Sarver

We speak with Dr. David Sarver, a world-class orthodontist practicing in Alabama, author of multiple books on the industry including a brand new one just released , and a prolific speaker with over 400 engagements under his belt in the United States, Europe, Australia and the Middle and the Far East. He also played Division 1 basketball in college. Dr. Sarver talks to us about his unique take on building trust in a practice for both the young clinician and the established orthodontist.

Topics covered also include:

  • Thoughts on differentiating a practice based on quality and trust
  • Considering the aging smile in your treatment plan
  • The value both clinically and as a marketing tool of bringing patients back over the years for follow up appointments
  • Personal growth and knowledge needed to bring the highest quality care to your patients

About Our Guest:

Dr. Sarver received his DMD from The University of Alabama School of Dentistry and M.S. in Orthodontics from the University of North Carolina in 1979. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, a member of the Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists, a Fellow in both the International and American Colleges of Dentists and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry.

In addition to his private practice, Dr. Sarver’s book, “Esthetics in Orthodontics and Orthognathic Surgery” was published in September 1998. He is also co-author (with Dr. Proffit and White) of the surgical text “Contemporary Treatment of Dentofacial Deformity), and is co-author the 4th and 5th editions of Proffit’s classic textbook “Contemporary Orthodontics”. He has given more than 300 professional presentations in the United States, Europe, Australia and the Middle and the Far East.

Your Might be Too Busy to Notice You’re Practice May be Heading to Disaster

We’re lucky that we get to speak with some of the most respected and effective professionals in the orthodontics industry who are helping to ensure that independent private practices are going to thrive in the future. Every month during my podcast, “The Survival Guide to Orthodontics,” we speak to a different expert in the field or we bring in the big guns from “Big Ortho” like Invisalign to talk about how orthodontists can work with their products and services to increase market share.

In episode 8 of our podcast, we spoke with Charlene White, owner of Progressive Concepts, an orthodontic practice management consultant with over 35 years of experience helping to improve practice performance. For anyone who listened to the podcast, she gave some very useful advice on how she evaluates a practice and optimizes systems to improve efficiency and profitability.

One of the first things White looks at when evaluating a practice is the net production compared to net collections. Doctors might feel busy, she told us during the interview but when net production is lagging behind net collections that is a big red flag to her.

“I know you feel busy and you saw 100 patients today but if we don’t fix this production issue in the next year or two, the practice will generate less income,” White said.

The second set of KPIs she looks at is clinical efficiency. She will dig deep into the clinical efficiency of a practice including metrics around patient flow, what affects office stress, and reducing overhead. 

“A lot of people do not realize the impact of clinical systems that are inefficient,” she said.

Overall, White says she looks at 60 different KPIs, which brings to the forefront the data behind the operations of your practice. You might feel like you’re busy but if the metrics aren’t right, you are going to go from feast to famine in the near future.

“Feeling busy is not enough,” she said.

She said that many orthodontists are very focused on the clinical sides of things in a practice that we tend to not pay as much attention to the business end of things.

One thing that’s important to creating a more efficient practice is to focus on building a peak performance team. You have to be as good at Human Resources as you are at clinical treatment. White suggested a doctor take educational courses about human relations. White said that it’s important as orthodontists become busier that they have skilled clinical managers and office managers.

“Hone your hiring skills,” she said. Or you can with a practice management consultant.

Staff members need to be accountable for their roles and responsibilities and there needs to be a good system for follow up so nothing falls between the cracks.

All this is vital to a thriving practice.

When my company, People & Practice, performs a marketing evaluation we want to make sure the practice is operating efficiently and has a handle on patient conversion. Orthodontists know they have to go direct-to-market and not depend so much on referrals. But, their internal processes need to be tight by the time they do go to market so that they’re not filling a bucket that has holes in it.

Charlene gave plenty of other great advice including some great information on how to build a healthy recall system. You can’t wait years and expect patients to just come back to you. It’s important to reach out once a year to past patients and invite them back for some kind of fun event. She said it’s important to create a practice where patients have a very positive experience and are part of the family.

The idea is to make them feel like patients even though they might not be in treatment yet.

“Make sure the office environment is a place where they are having a good time,” White said. “They see this is the place for them. I want to hear, ‘I love this place.’”

You can find our interview with Charlene White and other great episodes at

Our Next Podcast Guest: Landy Chase

We speak with Landy Chase, president and CEO of OrthoYes, an orthodontic business consultancy that specializes in training practices how to increase their start rates with effective and detailed procedures for all members of the office staff. He is also an author of five books on the subject, In this episode we speak with Landy about how your office can start more cases and improve overall conversion rates. The secret? It’s not improving the performance of your Treatment Coordinator but how the doctor communicates the value of treatment to prospective patients. 

Topics covered also include:

  • The skills to look for in hiring a Treatment Coordinator
  • How to structure an effective initial consultation with your TC
  • How orthodontists can compete with “Big Ortho”

About Our Guest:

Landy Chase is a practice consultant and award-winning author and speaker who specializes in training orthodontic practices to increase the start rate of prospective patients. He provides highly effective, detailed procedures for doctors, TCs and staff to attract and acquire new orthodontic patients for client practices. He works exclusively within the orthodontic profession as a trainer, consultant and coach and has been a featured speaker at numerous study clubs around the United States. He has worked personally with over 100 client practices in just the last three years.

Subscribe to our podcast and listen to this episode:

What’s in the Future for Orthodontics?

Hard to believe that 2019 is almost in the books.That time of year is upon us again where we reflect and make resolutions to improve ourselves both personally and professionally.

Maybe it’s finally getting started on your exercise program. Or you’re thinking about how you can make changes in your practice to not only survive another year but make this the year you thrive.

The best way to do that is to ask yourself some very hard questions:

  • Have you really taken the steps you need to improve efficiencies in your practice?
  • Have you made essential changes that will help you dramatically increase your conversion rate?
  • How will you replace dwindling referral sources with direct-to-market strategies to keep new patient flow coming to your office?

At People & Practice, we believe that the golden age of orthodontics is still ahead of us. New technologies are creating opportunities for orthodontists to become faster, more efficient, and deliver patients the convenience they crave in treatment.

We help prepare orthodontists for the future by creating marketing that leads to increased new patient flow and then help you convert those potential patients at a higher rate all while tracking performance and success.

Let’s talk now about how you can make 2020 the year you transform your practice! Click here to contact us today.

Our Next Podcast Guest: Charlene White

We speak with Charlene White, owner of Progressive Concepts, an orthodontic practice management consultant with over 35 years of experience helping to improve practice performance. In this episode, Charlene gives us her advice on how she evaluates a practice and optimizes systems to improve efficiency and profitability.

Topics covered include:

  • Some examples of the KPIs Charlene looks for when evaluating a practice’s performance and how they can be improved
  • Importance of pivoting a practice from depending on referral flow to direct-to-market strategies
  • Tips to for a healthy recall system
  • Building a peak performance team
  • The most important thing to help you dramatically increase patient starts

About Our Guest:

Charlene White is an Orthodontic Consultant with over 35 years of experience in the orthodontic practice management field. Her company, Progressive Concepts, Inc., specializes in orthodontic consulting services, practice management workshops, group seminars, and training products. Charlene offers both in-office consultations and off-site management services. There is no better return on investment for an orthodontic practice than a consultation with Charlene White. Production and profits increase all while teamwork and stress improve, immensely.

Click here to listen to the episode and subscribe:

Orthodontists: Don’t pour new patients into a leaky bucket

We spend a lot of time talking about how to increase patient flow to replace dwindling referral sources. A solid direct-to-market program that encompasses social media, targeted online advertising, and reputation management (Google reviews) can all work together to influence qualified patients to pick up the phone or email you to schedule a consultation. This is only half the battle. 

The other challenge is to convert potential patients into paying customers. It’s no use filling a bucket with patients if it’s full of holes. Below are five proven strategies we put to use after analyzing the stats of hundreds of client practices across the country.

Talk fees on the first visit

Many orthodontists were taught that they don’t speak to patients about finances on the first visit. Those days are over. People have less time (and patience). They want all the facts so they can make decisions quickly. On more involved cases it will still be necessary to take more time before planning out treatment and costs but for the routine case it’s more advantageous to do it all in one visit. Patients will appreciate the convenience and speed in which you work.

Lower you initial fee

Some orthodontists are still charging and initial fee of upwards of $1,800. This doesn’t fly anymore. Patients are stretched thin. You have to lower the barrier to entry, We found the sweet spot is a $500 down payment to help patients commit to treatment.

Make monthly payments affordable

Historically, patient delinquency rates in the orthodontic industry are low, around 3%. This means you can stretch the monthly payment beyond the planned treatment time by 6 to 8 months to make their monthly payments more affordable, which should be around $150 per month.

Accept insurance payments directly

An easy way to make braces more affordable for patients is to find out their insurance benefits before the initial consultation and then accept payment directly from the insurance company as a partial payment. Asking families to deal with insurance reimbursements for treatment runs counter to how most doctor’s offices run their business today. This will go a long way to making the decision easier for patients to start treatment at your practice.

Lighten up

Make you office a fun place to be. Offer extras for parents and younger siblings while they wait like a fun zone and free coffee (for the parents not the young siblings!) Make it a place that kids want to come back to. This will also help retain recall patients. Remember people will not remember what you told them but they will remember how you made them feel.

If you want to know more about how to supercharge your marketing and increase patient starts for your practice, contact People & Practice today for a free marketing analysis, at 888.866.DOCS, or by email at

Our Next Podcast Guest: Dental Monitoring’s Mark van Weelde

We speak with Mark van Weelde, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing at Dental Monitoring (DM), a transformative medical technology company that allows patients and orthodontists to communicate remotely to closely monitor treatment.

In this episode, we address the role DM can play in helping orthodontists compete with direct-to-consumer companies and how technology allows us to fill a gap in the marketplace providing the patient the convenience and speed they are looking for. We also address a concern of orthodontists that AI might detract from their role as a specialist.

Do not miss this in-depth discussion of these important issues.

Listen to the clip below and then click here to subscribe to our podcast to hear all of our many other informative and insightful conversations.

Our podcast, The Survival Guide for Orthodontists is dedicated to making you the authority in orthodontics to prospective new patients in your community. Click here to subscribe to the podcast, and listen to the latest episode. Subscribe today!