Ideally, your dental office manager or dental marketing coordinator is consistently communicating the availability of aesthetic dental services to your patients through email, e-newsletters, direct mail, and your website.

But it’s important to get the patient’s permission to talk about smile-enhancing services by giving them the “why” – why the team feels they may be interested in that type of dental care.

This means the team must have already created a relationship with the patient and have an understanding of how the aesthetic dentistry might provide them with a benefit.

Office Manager: “Mrs. Jones, you’re here to get your smile healthy. And we are going to do that. May I ask, how do you feel about the appearance of your smile?”

Patient: “Well…I’ve always wanted my smile to be a bit whiter, and I sure would love straighter teeth.”

Office Manager: “May I share with you some of the aesthetic services (doctor) has available?”

The patient may say, “Yes”, and open the door to a great conversation about their smile. And they may say, “No”.

But at the very least you’ve given them what they deserve – the opportunity to find out what’s possible. It’s important to give patients all the information they need to determine if enhancing their smile is right for them. They need to know what the procedure will require in terms of time, and of course, money.

Discuss costs and finance options

Talking about money can be hard on patients and the team. It’s okay for patients to tell you that the cost of treatment is expensive because often it is. But you don’t want patients to have to ask for financing solutions, because often they won’t. They will just leave your practice without treatment acceptance.

A dental treatment coordinator needs to be comfortable talking to patients about outside financing, because it may be easier for patients to make a decision on aesthetic treatment when they know they can pay monthly with special financing, and fit care into their budget without affecting their family plans.

4 ways to address costs

Here are four ways to help patients talk about cost concerns and solutions, increasing your chances of more treatment acceptances:

  1. “Mrs. Jones, it is my privilege to help you receive the care you need without any delays that could ultimately cause more dental concerns and increase the cost of your care. We have several solutions to help you afford the cost of your care today. I am certain we can find one that works for you and your family. Let’s go through this together so you are more comfortable proceeding. Sound good?”
  2. “Mrs. Jones, one of the features of our practice is accepting your insurance plan to contribute toward the cost of your care. We also accept the CareCredit healthcare credit card as well as cash, checks and credit cards.”
  3. “Mrs. Jones, your treatment is a big investment, isn’t it? That’s why we are committed to doing our best for you. One of the features of our office is that we have solutions that can make it easier to fit the cost of your care into your family budget. I’m sure we have a plan that will work for you. May I share those options with you?”
  4. “Mrs. Jones, we have found that many of our patients prefer to make payments over a period of time for treatment such as yours. The good news is: we have several payment options, including special financing, that works well for our patients. Is this something that you would like to consider to assist you in covering the costs for your care?”

Meet the Author

Debra Engelhardt-Nash smiling on her blog about treatment acceptanceDebra Engelhardt-Nash has been in dentistry for over 30 years. She is an international trainer, author, presenter, instructor, and consultant.

She is a founding member and has held seats as President and Vice President/President-Elect of the National Academy of Dental Management Consultants. She is an active member of the American Dental Assistants Association, American Academy of Dental Practice Administration and Speakers Consulting Network. Debra is also on the board of the American Dental Association’s Dental Practice Management Advisory Board. She has been repeatedly recognized by Dentistry Today as a Leader in Continuing Dental Education and a Leader in Dental Consulting. Debra received the Kay Moser Distinguished Service Award given by the American Dental Assistants Association, has been chosen as one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry by Dental Products Report and is also a recipient of the Gordon Christensen Lecturer Recognition Award.

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