Dr Mark Hassed

Quite a few practices send crowns and dentures off to the laboratory to be made without taking a deposit.

The inevitable result of this is that a percentage of the patients change their minds and the dentist is left with a crown or denture sitting in a cupboard.

I learnt that lesson years ago myself.

I still have the first immediate denture that I ever made in private practice. The lady I made it for changed her mind and I was stuck paying the lab cost. Her reaction was “Tough. Tell someone who cares.”

Of course the simple solution is to ask patients for a deposit prior to sending off the lab work.

My staff did that for years and we never had a problem with it. Never.

But, here's a new approach. We discovered that, rather than asking for a deposit, we could ask for full payment and around 70-80% would agree.

Simply have your front desk person say: “Would you like to pay half today or the whole thing and that way there is nothing to pay next time?”

Works a treat!

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