Treatment conversion can be divided up into two categories:
a) High Value Procedures (HVPs) and b) General dental procedures (GDPs)
HVPs include but are not limited to the following: Invisalign/ortho, multiple crowns/veneers in one visit, sleep appliances, periodontal surgery and implants.
It is important to recognize your conversion on HVPs will be lower than GDPs. The question is, what is a good treatment conversion rate for which to aim in each category? It is commonly stated that 1/3 of patients will always say yes, 1/3 will always say no and 1/3 are on the fence. Its the group who is on the fence who may chose to say yes or no, depending on how you present the treatment. Based on this logic, your treatment acceptance may range from 33-66%. Others state the average treatment acceptance rate in North America is 25% or less.
In my offices, the targets are as follows: HVPs are 50% and GDPs are 75%. I have found conversion on Invisalign is higher than on 3-3 veneers or 5 posterior crowns in one sitting. In addition, conversion on fillings and extractions is higher than on root canals. The goal is to have the average be at or above the targets listed above.
Take this with a grain of salt. You could argue that the average is a little higher or the peak is a little lower. There is no need to split hairs here, because the bottom line is that the trend is the message. The numbers simply tell a story about where to begin investigating. The numbers may mean you are under-planning on complex treatments or you are simply not converting.
For example, if one of our doctors has an ultra-high conversion on GDP treatment plans it may be that they are simply under-diagnosing. Let me explain, If a doctor only diagnoses one-to-two fillings on a patient and has a treatment plan average of $400/patient, their conversion may approach 100%, whereas a doctor who has a comprehensive treatment plan of $3500/patient may be closer to 50 or 60%. Who is further ahead? On the other hand, if your conversion rate is very low (under 25%), you are clearly not converting.
The numbers simply direct you to where you should start looking so you can identify the root cause of the problem and begin to implement strategic solutions. You may be thinking: I don’t want to track all this–who has the time. Well, that is entirely up to you. If you would rather stick with just one number then aim for 50% or higher as a treatment acceptance target for all procedures combined. Tracking this alone will be more than the majority of our colleagues are doing.
I have always wondered why the top 5% of practices were performing so much higher than most of the other offices. What I have found after much research and interviewing is that the top practices were far better at building nurturing relationships based on trust.
In his book Outliers, Malcom Gladwell explains that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in any field. I worked hard and became a good at being a dentist. I also became good at bringing in new patients because of the lessons I’d learned. But I was spending a ton of time with new patients, never to see them return.
What good is bringing in a ton of new patients if I couldn’t get them to commit to treatment plans? That’s when I had to move way out of my comfort zone and seek help. I discovered those practices which were achieving the highest treatment acceptance rates were winning by building trust and focusing on the relationship versus treating patients like a case number and bombarding them will technical jargon. There is a very simple science to this that I teach in my case acceptance training.
Bonus Tip: You can also track “ $ treatment presented” vs. “$ treatment accepted” on a given day to arrive at a case acceptance percentage daily weekly, monthly etc.