Dentists and Payment Arrangements

Who is the best person in your practice for making payment arrangements? It’s rare when the answer is the dentist; however dentists can easily get caught up in inquiries about money whenever treatment options are discussed. How then can you effectively handle cost-related discussions chair-side?


To start, you need to consider the patient’s perspective. Asking questions about cost after the dentist proposes treatment is quite natural, and patients deserve an accurate and prompt answer. Therefore, whoever addresses the questions needs to have a thorough understanding of the patient’s insurance plan and its limitations—which is one reason why the dentist is at a disadvantage to answer. If financial questions are better addressed by the front office team, direct the patient accordingly. The main concern for patients is to know someone will step them through potential costs.

Given that most dentists have big hearts, they can get put in awkward situations when patients push for payment arrangements that involve flexible financing. Too many times, slow-pay accounts are the result of special payment arrangements made by the dentist, whose good intentions create extra work for the front team. Practices often find it’s wiser to direct all questions about payment arrangements to the front team. Once again, patients mainly want to know that someone will listen to their concerns and help them find a way to afford dental care.

8.6.15 teeth and money

When patients have a go-to person for cost-related questions, you create uniformity in how you put together financial estimates and payment arrangements. Cost estimates are more accurate, questions are answered promptly, and the patient experience flows even smoother. This leaves dentists to do what they do best: provide great care for their patients.

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