Technicians: Champion pets chompers

November 20, 2017

If your veterinary practices current dental procedure marketing methods seem a bit long in the tooth, brush up on some new approaches.

Shutterstock.comFetch dvm360 conference speaker Barden Greenfield, DVM, DAVDC, knows how important veterinary technicians are to a practice's bottom line-especially when it comes to marketing dental procedures. Here are simple ways you can arm yourself to the teeth to promote better oral care in your practice.

Successful storytelling

Word-of-mouth marketing can be impactful-especially coming from technicians rather than veterinarians, says Dr. Greenfield, as pet owners tend to assume you truly have the pet's medical interest at heart (as opposed to the practice's financial interests).

Recount success stories from the trenches to educate and encourage pet owners about how dental procedures can safely improve their pets' lives. For example, if you have a pet in front of you that needs to have some teeth extracted, tell its owner about a past patient in a similar position that came out the other side happier and healthier.

May I recommend … 

“The guy at the pet store said that deer antlers are great for teeth.”

Ever heard that one? Be ready for questions and comments about dental diets, treats and other products by getting familiar with Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)-approved products, says Dr. Greenfield. You can check out the full list of VOHC-approved products here, or you can take a deeper dive into just the treats here.

Please hold

Instead of playing smooth, sleepy jazz for pet owners while they're on hold, record a message that promotes a dental care conversation in the future, says Dr. Greenfield. Here's an idea from Dr. Greenfield to get you started:

“Did you know that the majority of dogs and cats over the age of 3 have periodontal disease? Please talk to one of our trained technicians about your pet's oral care.”

Down with National Pet Dental Health Month (sorta)

If your team is only pushing dental health in February, you're sending the wrong message and are doing your practice and your patients a disservice, Dr. Greenfield says. You don't want pet owners putting off necessary dental treatments for a specific month because they'll save 10 percent. And you also want to avoid stacking up so many dental procedures in one day that you can't do a good job.

“Dentistry is a 24/7 recommendation,” says Dr. Greenfield. Push for oral care compliance to be discussed as often as heartworm compliance, he says.

Experiment for the sake of better medicine (and greater profits)

If you're helping with a young pet spay or neuter, Dr. Greenfield recommends looking for missing teeth and malocclusion before intubating. He says you could propose doing this for every spay or neuter appointment for a six-month span to see how much income you can generate for the practice by catching dental problems this way. By doing so, you'll demonstrate your worth as a smart, proactive technician to your employer and your clients. Dr. Greenfield says you could even ask for a cut of the profits you generate from your experiment.