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Why Solea®: Increased Patient Flow


Why Solea®: Increased Patient Flow

By Dr. Heath Brantley

Often times we as dentists get bogged down in the day to day stress of managing our teams, payroll, supplies, PR, oh and less I forget, trying to do great dentistry simultaneously. We look up for one second and ask ourselves where has the day, quarter or the entire year gone. There was so much that I wanted to accomplish and can’t help but feel that too much work was left undone. However, with 2019 ending and the new year ahead, I went through the labor intensive chore of running my 2019 numbers and assessing where my business has been, where it currently is, and where 2020 is likely to lead.

I’ve written about how Solea has transformed my practice both on my blog and in dental economics . It is the single most critical piece of technology that I have implemented in my practice. There is an inflection point in the history of my practice that started in July 2017 and forever changed my life. It is the day I signed for my first of three Solea units. I wanted to take some time in this blog to provide an update on some of my practice metrics as I have not written about them in over a year….

As many of you know, the first month after implementing Solea, my new patient flow increased 38% and continued to grow. In fact, when I ran the updated numbers, I compared the total number of new patients (D0150 patients, not D0140 new patients) the year immediately preceding July 2017 and the year after, and my new patient numbers increased 58.7%. This number is ironically similar to the growth I had in revenue which was 60% that first year. I have now had Solea in my practice for longer than I didn’t have it and my revenues are up 5x since I started. Again, the inflection point and massive growth happened after jumping in with 2 feet and holding my breath with Solea.

So why did my new patient growth jump so dramatically? I call it the Solea Effect! My team was doing everything the way they always had. We greet people with a smile, we care for them.. The thing that changed during that time was getting the laser. I found out my patient base REALLY liked it and even better they REALLY liked telling others about it. The great thing about our industry is that it’s still a people business and if you treat them well and implement patient centric systems and technology like Solea, they tell everybody.

Two of my favorite stories of new patient word of mouth referrals:
  1. We give our new patients a tour of the office and try to show case our technologies prior to seating them in the operatory. A male in his 30s was particularly interested in Solea, asked questions, said things like, “that’s really cool,” and then didn’t mention it again for the rest of his appointment. As it turned out, his oral health was excellent, and he had never had a cavity. Owning Solea may have been cool but didn’t benefit this particular patient at all. However, guess who showed up in the office a week later? His girlfriend! Why? Because, he knew she was deathly afraid of the dentist, had recently been diagnosed with cavities that she was unwilling to have treated because she was, you guessed it, scared. Needless to say, she got her work done and said it was “1000 times better than getting a needle."
  2. One other new patient story involves a mom that was unwilling to break ties with her current dentist out of loyalty, however she had her young children coming to our office because of our technology. After multiple fillings were done by my associate on her young 4-year-old. She had a simple 12-DO done at her previous office. At the time, she was pregnant, also scared of the dentist, and had a very poor experience. As she recalls, they could not numb the tooth so she “white knuckled” the whole appointment and it “was awful.” She then thought, why was the dental work so easy for my kids and I had to suffer through mine? So, she transferred her care to us and we took care of her 5-DO and now she says she “never has to stay up all night because she is scared to go to the dentist.” Thanks, kiddos, for referring your mom.

Short Bio:
Dr. Heath Brantley is the owner and founder of both Wendell Family Dentistry and Wendell Learning Center which provides dental continuing education in a small group environment and focuses on “smarter dentistry, happier dentists.” He is passionate about incorporating technology to enhance patient experience and increase efficiency. Dr. Brantley believes that patients are smarter than ever and aware that dentistry is a service, an art, and not a commodity. They value dentistry that saves them time, appointments, and that is comfortable. Technology allows us to diagnose more accurately and treat faster with significantly less discomfort.

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