How to Future-Proof Your Orthodontic Practice

Welcome back to the GrowOrtho podcast. In today’s episode, we chat with Chris Bentson, who’s been involved in the specialty orthodontics field for over three decades. As the co-founder of Bentson Copple & Associates, Chris currently offers his expertise to orthodontists who need help with everything from valuation to talent recruitment to selling a practice.

In this episode, you can look forward to hearing about:

  • How Chris thinks orthodontists should prepare for the next three to five years, given the increasing challenges and opportunities of the field
  • One of the most important, learnable, and often-overlooked skill sets needed to get patients in the door
  • What Chris sees orthodontists worrying about the most — and how to manage these concerns
  • What patients really care about the most
  • The opportunities that exist for orthodontists among the adult and young adult demographic
  • Chris’s opinion on the paradigm of “bad patients” in the era of SDC
  • What top orthodontic practices are doing that others aren’t — plus the one thing providers should know more than anything else when it comes to preserving a healthy future for their business

As always, check out a more expansive summary about Luke and Chris’s conversation:

  • Over the past few decades, there’s been a major shift within the orthodontics field, going from provider referral-focused to a patient-focused approach. What does this mean for your clinic? “In order to be successful,” Chris says, “you’re going to have to speak to the consumer.” This means more than just doing outreach where clients spend their time (hint hint: online). Chris stresses the importance of communicating with consumers in a way that resonates with them, too.
  • Chris acknowledges there is “a lot of fear” in the orthodontics field right now, especially surrounding increasing competition, generational shifts, and changing operational models. Is there still space for brick-and-mortar private practices? But there’s still plenty of opportunities for providers — especially for those who can adapt, speak directly to the consumer, and utilize efficient technology, including digital innovations like Rhinogram.
  • Do patients really care about outcomes beyond a better “social six”? Not as much as you might think, Chris notes. Instead, he urges providers to establish themselves as the superior option from competitors by delivering on what really matters to the consumer: convenience, cost, and trust in a provider’s expertise.
  • On the “patient for life” model: It’s helpful for your bottom line, but can it really work? Yes, Chris says, but it means you have to start speaking to your audience more effectively — especially the adults who may not think they need you after their teen years.
  • There’s this idea that patients who go with Smile Direct Club or Invisalign aren’t patients you’d want anyway — not necessarily true, according to Chris. “We’ve got to get over that arrogance to grow our businesses,” he says before expanding on the possible opportunities with this demographic.
  • As far as Chris is concerned, orthodontists are great thinkers — but poor delegators. That “I can do it all” mentality is exactly what ends up holding practices back, he says. This also explains why the most elite practices he’s seen in the country all employ consultants in an array of areas. “That’s the secret sauce.”
  • “Leadership is a learned skill and the most important skill if you want growth,” Chris concludes. He urges orthodontists to invest in themselves, create a strong vision for what they want their practice to look like, and learn how to truly integrate this vision into their team.

To connect with Chris, you can visit his website bentsoncopple.com or call his Greensboro-based office at (800) 621-4664.

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