xray with a red circle showing where an implant would go

Wow, who knew that “CBD” could change your treatment planning? We know from the internet that CBD can treat almost any disease, and now it can help get patients to accept treatment?

The answer is yes, but it’s not the way you’re probably thinking.

Whether you’re a surgical specialist like me, or a general practitioner who does a lot of surgical procedures, improving your surgical consultations can dramatically increase your treatment acceptance rates. That’s where CBD comes in.

The CBD that I’m talking about is Cut, Blood and Drill. My old implant consultations used to go for a good 30 minutes in nauseating detail as I lectured patients on how I was going to inflict CBD on them. No wonder many patients didn’t rush to make their surgical appointments!

I converted my practice to a fully digital CDOCS/CBCT prosthetically guided implant workflow five years ago. My implant consults are very different now. I review the upcoming consults with my team in our morning huddle, and we make a plan for each patient.

When the patient is seated, my staff is empowered to get the appropriate imaging (usually photos), CBCT and CEREC scans for full prosthetically driven guided implant placement. Patients are shown the appropriate Spear Patient Education videos. For example, if a patient is being referred for an extraction of a posterior tooth in preparation for a future implant, they’ll be shown a playlist including “Single Tooth Loss,” “Socket Preservation,” and “Single Implant-Posterior” videos. If the patient is referred for a possible full-arch implant treatment, they will watch “Fixed Hybrid Dentures” and “Locator Retained Overdenture” chairside videos.

PATIENT EDUCATION: Empower your patients with Patient Education videos – resources proven to make complex clinical issues easy to understand, which leads to better conversations, more informed patients and increased case acceptance. 

Now when I enter the room, all imaging is up on the screens, the patients are well-informed and truly appreciate the value of the surgical consultation to help them visualize the treatment plan. I can focus the patient on that visualization and not on the surgical process of getting there.

This didn’t happen overnight. I’m way too hardheaded for that, but I eventually weaned myself off my dependence on CBD. My patients are now more comfortable and less terrified as I show them their virtual crown proposal merged with the CBCT and we discuss how the implant surgical guide is going to make their treatment easier and more accurate.

As we started incorporating this workflow in our practice, we saw that our implant numbers went up as the amount of time discussing CBD went down. What a surprise!

Specifically, our treatment acceptance rates went from about 70% to 90% and have stayed there consistently. The financial benefit from the increase in acceptance rates paid for the technology investment. I’ve nearly tripled the annual number of implants placed over the past four years, and I get to spend more time discussing interdisciplinary cases with my referring general practitioners, participating in my three Spear Study Clubs and working on more complex implant cases.

Now it’s your turn. The choice is yours.

Are you ready to quit CBD and watch your implant practice grow?

Douglas Smail, D.D.S., is a contributor to Spear Digest.