dentist mother opt

By Roger P. Levin, DDS

Most ortho patients are adolescents whose parents—primarily the mother—must be motivated to accept treatment at your practice. The entire selling process, should be carefully orchestrated with certain key factors in mind at all times. These are best expressed as the Mother’s Three Big Questions:

1. Does my child need orthodontics?
Many children will benefit from having braces, but Mom may initially be hoping ortho treatment—with all its challenges and expense—won’t be necessary for her child. The treatment coordinator (TC) should break the news firmly but gently and then use it as a jumping off point for the rest of the presentation.

2. Will my child end up with a beautiful smile?
Most of an effective presentation focuses on this all-important question. The mother may not want to buy ortho treatment, but she will buy a beautiful smile for her child. Clinical details are beside the point, which may be difficult to accept for a doctor dedicated to providing excellent care. It is the perfected smile—and all the resulting benefits for the child—that has the power to motivate Mom to say “yes” to treatment.

3. How much will it cost?
It is this question that lies at the heart of post-recession “ortho shopping.” The mother may respect the doctor, like the practice, and appreciate the benefit of orthodontics for her child yet still be hesitant about spending the money. Address it, first, by offering financing options for greater flexibility, convenience, and affordability. Second, build a relationship strong enough to overcome a competitor’s slight price advantage.

By coming up with excellent answers to these questions—which of course the mother may not actually ask—your practice will definitely increase its case acceptance rate.


levin Go to to learn about the Treatment Coordinator Online Study Club™, a free educational resource created by Levin Group to promote the professional growth of TCs and their effectiveness at influencing patients and parents to accept ortho treatment. You can connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (Levin_Group) to learn strategies and share ideas.