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Veterinary Dentistry and your Practice - Is Dentistry really worth it?

Posted in Guest Blogger @ May 16th 2013 - By Diederik Gelderman, Turbo Charge Your Practice
Veterinary Dental Is It Worth It

A recent survey of 200 vets showed the following statistics with regards to veterinary dentistry

  -  98% offered dental services

  -  80% of vets: 1-10% of gross from dentistry

  -  15% of vets: 11-15% of gross

  -  5% of vets: 15-20% of gross

Today, most practices should aim >10% of practice gross from dentistry (direct) i.e. $350,000 gross 10% or $35,000 dentistry or 3 “prophies” ($250 ea.) per week

A more recent Iams Gallup Phone Survey of 1000 pet owners found;

  -  63% of pet owners have never had their pets' teeth professionally cleaned.

  -  Of the 22% of pet owners who ever brush their pets' teeth

                 - Only 1 in 10 brush daily

                 - 4 in 10 brush weekly

                 - 1 in 5 say they brush only a few times a year.

When you look at these numbers and these statistics, don’t you see a HUGE opportunity for your practice?

Veterinary dentistry is an exacting discipline, requiring skill, patience and special equipment. In spite of the ‘stats’ above, one might reasonably ask, “Should we bother?”

The most important reason is that our patients need proper dental care to maximize both the quality and quantity of life. The second reason is that, by happy coincidence, veterinary dentistry can be quite profitable for the practice.

Therefore, investments in equipment and training are rapidly recouped. So it makes very good medical sense as well as making good business sense.

The prevalence of treatable dental disease is staggering when you know what to look for and how to recognize lesions. Various sources indicate that 60 to 90% of adult dogs have periodontal disease to a degree that necessitates treatment. A similar proportion of the feline population is also affected. A study at the Animal Medical Centre found that of cats presented for dental cleaning, 65% had at least one 'neck lesion' requiring attention. There are also fractured and traumatized teeth, orthodontic problems, oral tumours and a number of other conditions waiting to be diagnosed.

I’m going to suggest that with the winter slow-down starting to affect most practices, that now is the ideal time (and you also have the time in which to do it) in which to get your whole Team involved in developing a  Dental Program for your practice and getting it up and running.

The end result; you’ll be busier (and more profitable to boot), you’ll have healthier and happier pets (we all know how bad a tooth-ache is) and your clients will be happier and more bonded to your practice.


Guest blogger, Dr. Gelderman is a certified NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer. He began coaching veterinary professionals with his Turbo Charge Your Veterinary Practice seminar, in 2004, to a small group of associates. In 2009, the seminars expanding internationally to Hong Kong, NZ, Europe and the US.

Dr. Gelderman has coached and consulted with more than 350 Small to Medium Enterprises in a diverse range of industries. For more information visit 'Turbo Charge Your Practice'.


Halow Tassava Consulting @ May 28th 2013 10:54pm
Agreed 100%! We have also found that a large part of the problem is that team members aren't bought into the 1)price, 2)benefit of dentistry over the risks of anesthesia, and they have difficulty communicating the need for preventative dentistry to clients. That's why we're working with entire TEAMS to dispel these myths and to get everyone on the same page, speaking the same message!
Judy @ May 29th 2013 9:10am
Hi Harlow - thanks for stopping by! I agree - there's no point offering any new service if you don't get buy-in from your team members. Helping them out by discussing responses to all the common "Yes but..." objections can really make a big difference!

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