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Economics of Total Facial Esthetics

doing a botox injectionlAs Botox and dermal fillers become more of a mainstay in dental practices, a whole new category of facial esthetics is taking hold.  It is estimated that one out of every five dentists in the US are now offering Botox and dermal filler therapies for both therapeutic and cosmetic purposes, and this area of dentistry is growing rapidly.

Most dentists will say that whitening and veneers are among the most important cosmetic procedures they perform, but many of their patients seem inclined to disagree.  Many patients are more interested in enhancing their smile as a whole than simply getting great teeth.  Many dentists, however, are intensely focused on the teeth, telling patients that all they need is a set of veneers to improve their smile.  These dentists couldn’t be more wrong.

The truth is, a great smile involves much more than just teeth, it involves the tissue both in and around the mouth, such as the lips, cheeks, chin, jowls, and more.  Nearly everyone is familiar with Botox and dermal fillers.  These days all you have to do is pick up a magazine to read about some celebrity getting Botox or dermal filler procedures.

I would challenge you to make one tiny change to your medical history form.  Add a question asking your patients if they’ve ever had Botox or dermal fillers.  You may be surprised, and a little annoyed, at how many people answer yes, despite ignoring your repeated urgings to get a broken tooth fixed.  It is quite common for dentists and their patients to have very different priorities regarding esthetics and well-being.

Why are Botox and dermal fillers so incredibly popular today?  And how could the economics of these procedures affect your bottom line?

In a survey of dentists who have enrolled in these courses, many dentists simply crunched the numbers and come to realize that they can potentially grow their bottom line by offering these services.  Many dentists find these procedures an attractive addition to their services because there is no large, expensive equipment required, no monthly payments, and the accessories needed to perform the procedures cost next to nothing.  They realize that the more of these procedures they perform, the more they can make.  The greatest expense is the actual product, and it’s not necessary to keep a huge inventory as they can be shipped overnight.

Many years ago, I learned the philosophy of faster, easier, and better dentistry.  This is the key to controlling overhead, not just in dentistry, but in nearly any field.  It pays to invest in anything that will both improve the quality of procedures and decrease the time it takes to perform procedures.  Botox and dermal filler therapies certainly qualify.  Our training courses focus on teaching about facial anatomy and physiology, preventing and treating adverse reactions, managing patient expectations, and everything you could possibly need to know about using Botox.  Participants are often shocked to learn that administering the Botox injections takes no more than 5 minutes.  Dermal filler injections take a bit longer, but can still be completed in 15 minutes or less.  Once you have completed your training and established a routine, you’ll be surprised at how many of these procedures you can perform each week.   Ask yourself this; Can I squeeze a couple of extra five minute procedures into my day?  How about if these five minute procedures are especially profitable?

Let’s talk about how much you can charge to perform these procedures.  There are a few different ways you might choose to structure your fee schedule for Botox and dermal fillers.  You might set your fees based on how much product you need to use.  You might set your fees based on what areas of the face are being treated.  Or you might simply offer an overall total facial esthetics and smile makeover package for a flat rate.  Dentists have a unique skillset that allows them to offer facial esthetic packages that might combine Botox with bleaching or veneers, or dermal fillers with crowns or straightening.  The possibilities are near endless.  When you offer Botox, you might be surprised at how many of your patients are then willing to finally get the other procedures you’ve been recommending to them for years.

If you look at what you can charge for Botox and dermal filler products alone, you can easily charge anywhere from $600 to $3,000, and that doesn’t include any dental services you might perform for the patient that day.  This is a big range, but depends on how much product you use, how many areas you are treating, and whether you are performing any type of soft tissue enhancement.  The product you use during the procedure, again depending on how much you use, will cost you between $50 and $500 and your time investment is between 5 and 20 minutes.  It’s easy to see how quickly this can add up.

Now, I know you’re asking yourself whether patients will pay for this.  The short answer is… In a heartbeat.

Currently, more than 30 states allow dentists to offer Botox and dermal fillers for oral and maxillofacial cosmetic purposes, while every state now allows dentists to offer Botox and dermal fillers for therapeutic purposes, including TMJ, bruxism, improve soft tissue function, facial pain, and angular chelitis.  Isn’t it time you started offering your patients the benefits of being able to turn to you for their Botox and dermal filler treatments?  And don’t you owe it to your practice to offer this lucrative, easy, and quick procedure to your patients?

If you think about it, as a dentist, you possess a unique set of skills that allows you to offer a total facial esthetics package that no other type of healthcare professional can, because you are the only one who can treat your patients’ teeth as well as administering the injectables.  A smile enhancement may involve more than just the teeth, but it isn’t complete without great teeth.

Before you can start offering these procedures, you have to get trained.  You didn’t learn to place implants by watching a video or reading a book, and administering Botox and dermal filler injections is just the same.  You must have hands on training with live patients.  You need to fully understand the products you’re using, including what they can do, as well as the anatomy of the parts of the face on which they are used, and how they will affect the entire appearance of the face.

Many other healthcare professionals, including nurses, chiropractors, medical estheticians, and, of course, doctors, are offering these procedures on the very same areas that you work on every day.  Aren’t you at least as skilled in facial procedures as they are?  You see your patients twice a year anyway, and they trust you.  Doesn’t it just make sense to offer the procedure while they’re already in your chair anyway?  Now is the time to offer Botox to your practice.

Dr. Katz is the President and founder of Dentox, a premier teaching facility for dental Botox and dermal fillers and has co-invented most indications for dental uses of Botox.  Dr. Katz has injected and supervised injections on more patients than any other educator in this field.  It is with this extensive experience that he has created protocols for dental esthetics of dermal fillers for many US cosmeceutical companies.

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