Here's an interesting opportunity to help practices fill their appointment books while you grow your sales of dental equipment and supplies.
Introduce your customers to the concept of a "Dentistry for Boarders" program.
Why are anesthetic dentistry procedures, periodontal therapy and other oral health services a perfect tie-in to boarding visits? Several reasons:
- Most pets are due for an oral health exam, cleaning and possible treatment. Since almost 80% of all dogs and cats over the age of three have some form of periodontal disease, the chances of incoming boarders needing some form of disease prevention or treatment are very high. By offering a "Dentistry for Boarders" program, veterinary teams can help more patients avoid the pain and suffering that comes with periodontal disease.
- Boarders can easily be prepped for procedures… and monitored during recovery. A boarding appointment is the perfect time to ensure dogs and cats are properly prepared for dentistry or periodontal procedures. The staff can withhold food and run pre-anesthetic screening tests at the convenience of the practice and the pet owners. And, post-surgery recovery is under the team's watchful care beyond just the initial hours after anesthesia wears off. Plus, the pet owner will not need to make an extra trip to the veterinary hospital to have the procedure done at another time. It's convenient for everyone.
- It's an easy opportunity to increase revenue. The AHAA average invoice for a routine dentistry procedure is $450. Think of what this can mean to practices when they add several oral health appointments each week in combination with boarding visits.
When meeting with customers, you can be a hero by showing them how to implement a successful "Dentistry for Boarders" program.
3 Easy steps to provide this highly valued service to your customers:
- Show your customers the value of this program and the potential revenue.
Ask the veterinarians and practice managers you meet with, "How many patients boarded with you during the last 12 months?" Then, remind them that 80% of those patients probably had some form of periodontal disease, or at least were due for an oral health exam and cleaning. Take 80% of the practice's boarders over 12 months and multiply that by the $450 average AHAA fee. You'll certainly get your customers' attention!
- Partner with a dentistry products manufacturer with special knowledge in periodontal exams and procedures.
It's very likely that the partner will have educational materials to help the staff learn how to do a proper oral health exam — with the right equipment, supplies and procedures — so the right recommendations are made at the time of boarding.
- Set up a training/presentation event when the entire staff can attend.
It's important that the staff managing incoming boarders knows how to perform an oral health exam, and also recognizes the stage of periodontal disease different boarders may have so they can notify the veterinarian. (Often times, boarders do not go through the clinic or get a physical exam by a veterinarian prior to boarding, and this means they'd miss the opportunity to have the pet treated while their owners' are away.)
In addition, for the new program to stick, the entire staff needs to be on board with performing oral health evaluations on boarders. Help the clinic implement the "Dentistry for Boarders" program during this meeting (or shortly afterwards), with the practice manager or other teammate serving as the program lead to keep it going afterwards. This will help ensure success.
If you present the "Dentistry for Boarders" program in this way, you'll help your customers reap significant benefits from a patient care perspective as well as practice growth/revenue perspective. You'll know how to present these benefits based on each practice's main interests.