Tech tip: Pricing and profitability

In a recent tip, we shared our checklist for clear aligner success, which touches briefly on the topic of setting prices in your practice.

The checklist was created for our practice building e-course, which provides further details regarding pricing and profitability. Here's a taste:

Doctors often ask us: “How much should I charge for clear aligner treatment?” It’s not our place to tell doctors how to run their business, but we can share some suggestions.

Aligner treatment can involve anywhere from a couple of aligners to fifty or more. Instead of calculating a unique fee for each patient based on the number of initial aligners plus an additional cost to cover estimated future revisions, replacements, and retainers, Dr. Ken Fischer recommends a simple two-tier pricing strategy:

  • One fee for simple cases with short treatment times
    • (often handled with Flex)
  • A higher fee for complex cases with longer treatment times
    • (often handled with Unlimited)

Unless a dental service organization or group practice sets prices for you, each doctor (with their accountant or financial advisor, if applicable) must determine how much to charge for services. Whether you’re providing an occlusal composite, a prophy, or orthodontic treatment, you need to set your treatment fees so that the practice's expenses (lab fee, rent, utilities, payroll, etc.) can be covered while allowing yourself a healthy profit.

Because these variables can change from practice to practice, one doctor’s fee for a “simple” case may be set at $,1500 and another’s at $2,500. One doctor’s fee for an “complex” case might be set at $3,000 while another’s is at $8,000. The important thing to remember is to set the fee based upon the value of the service provided, not just the cost of the lab fees or or materials used.

Once the fee is determined, we recommend offering the patient a variety of payment options:

  • Paid-in-full (which may include a "bookkeeping" discount)
  • Down payment with following monthly payments
  • Monthly payment plan (number of months limited to the anticipated treatment time excluding the retention phase)
  • Securing financing through a 3rd party provider
  • Or any other plan (custom or otherwise) that is favorable to the practice and the patient.

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Check out our practice building e-course, available on our online store.

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