Veterinarians: Do the dental, avoid surprises

June 29, 2019

The real trick with a veterinary dental procedure? Convincing pet owners its needed and keeping them happy throughout the process. These dvm360 articles will help.

Leigh Prather/stock.adobe.comYou've likely heard the same old song and dance when it comes to talking about teeth cleaning: "Does Fido really need it?" "Can I put it off?" "Why does it cost so much?" Or, maybe a scenario that's even less fun (but still common): A client comes in when the procedure's done and balks at the bill.

Yup. Such is the world of teeth. (Especially when the client's groomer is out there claiming he can clean teeth just as well while the pet is awake.)

We've rounded up a few articles to help refresh some ideas on approaches that you could take to get dental procedures done and keep the clients happy.

Don't call it a dental

Focus on preventive care when it comes to teeth and call the procedure something entirely different. Try the acronym COPAT (comprehensive oral prevention, assessment and treatment). The client won't have the same associations to the name, and you can come at the whole thing from a different angle.

Make the bill more palatable

Change how you price your procedures and how you communicate them to your clients. One option: Bundle pricing, which involves coming up with an average cost per procedure. Another possibility: Price cleanings lower, but keep your extraction costs the same. Or maybe use a well-chose, time-based discount to get that compliance? See how Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, CVA, breaks down the options.

Avoid last-minute surprises

Nobody wants the client to show up and be surprised at what was done during a dental procedure. Barden Greenfield, DVM, DAVDC, gives some advice on keeping the clients notified about changes to the original plan and what to do when you can't reach someone (probably best just to wake up the pet).