Botox has been associated with plastic surgery since it was first used for cosmetic surgery. Yet, it is becoming an increasingly important tool for dentists, who have started to incorporate into their practice. Botox treatments allow dentists to offer their patients an added value proposition, and therefore, generate more revenue. For dentists who have not yet incorporated botox into their practice, it’s something they should really consider.
Overcoming the Lack of Patients
According to a poll conducted by the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Health Policy Institute’s (HPI) as part of its “Economic Outlook and Emerging Issues in Dentistry” report, dentists are feeling less and less confident about the prospects of economic recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Source: ADI HPI
Dentist’s reported operated at 86% capacity at the time of the report. When dentists were asked why they were struggling to reach 100% capacity, they indicated that patient cancellations, not having enough patients, challenges with staffing shortages, and Covid-19 safety protocols, were the primary reasons for not being able to reach full capacity.
Source: ADI HPI
The one reason that is within the ability of dentists to change, is the volume of patients walking through the door. This can be done by offering a wider range of treatments. Some of the most in-demand treatments right now are for Botox, injectable therapy, dermal fillers, and polydioxanone (PDO) thread lifts. This can be observed from the numbers: although the average practice was down 38% in 2021 in terms of patient volume as well as revenue, those dentists who were members of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics (AAFE) and offered injectable therapy, saw an increase of 33% in the same metrics. This trend has extended to 2022.
Although the economy is in recession and is experiencing inflation, historically, spending on injectable therapy tends to remain strong in downturns in the business cycle. This can be explained by the “lipstick effect” in which people spend on things that make them feel good during a recession, but do not break the bank. With the return to the workplace, there is an added incentive to get Botox.
Training Your Staff
As the ADI HPI’s report shows, it has been very challenging for dentists to hire new staff, given the staffing crisis afflicting the health care sector. To get around that, dentists should provide their staff with Botox training. Staff will already be familiar with many of the techniques involved in the provision of injectable therapy, so the evolution toward injectable therapy will not be too great for them.
Injectable Therapy is Profitable
Finally, every dentist should look at the therapies they provide and analyze them in terms of their costs and subsequent profits. Many of their offerings are low margin or may not even earn a profit. This isn’t to say that a dentist should not offer them. They should be seen as services a dentist provides which get patients through the door, help build a relationship of trust with a patient, a relationship that will allow the dentist to provide higher margin services.
Injectable therapy just has a much higher return on invested capital (ROIC) than many other offerings. This is clear if you are part of a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan, for instance, where you can see the different rates of reimbursement. Injectable therapy is a path to higher patient volumes and profitability.