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!