The All-On-4 Clinic annual national conference was held yesterday at the brand’s headquarters in Melbourne. Key personnel attended representing their clinics from around Australia. It was an forum to review our systems, and the motto was ‘Changing the lives of everyday people every day’, which by pure chance coincided with a recent tweet about the same by Sir Richard Branson:
In a touching story we published a year ago about the potential impact of what we do on peoples lives, we uncovered an emotional journey of a boy born with no tooth buds, who went through his childhood and early adulthood dealing with the social disadvantages of having no teeth, finally ending up at our clinic and being fitted with normal functional teeth. Read more about his journey.
We know that we have made a difference in the lives of thousands with the All-On-4 treatment, and we will continue with the work that we do, but in the next chapter of our business we also want to create a legacy by making what we do more accessible and affordable to many more people. So the agenda of the annual meeting was altered to include a review of the dental implants costs.
With the rise in the demand for the All-On-Four treatment in Australia, there has also been a rise in ‘imitation’ treatments, for a lack of a better word, at costs below 20K per arch that we see as being aimed to capitalise on the popularity of our methods, in many cases without the patients being made fully aware of the differences. We have all heard about those cheaper clinics, and whilst we have a highly competitive pricing policy, we need to ensure we always compare apples with apples. We prefer to maintain our high standards and not just compete, but be the leaders in terms of value. And when we say ‘value’ we don’t just mean in our service, but a measurable difference in what our patients actually get.
Dr Hillel New, from our Malvern clinic, recently published an interesting article on the topic entitled All-On-4 Dental Implants Costs & Differences.
Typically, the average All-On-4 dental implants using our methods costs approx. $25K. This price has not changed in 5 years and was set in accordance with All-On-4 Clinic’s competitive pricing policy at the time. The question at our annual review was whether we can we make it even cheaper to make it more affordable and more accessible to more people?
One of the things that we had to take into account in our fee review was the fact that what we offer is quite unique, not just terms of our facilities, but also in our methods and focus. Simply put, we do it differently. One of the differences is that we deliver the FINAL teeth typically within 24 hours. We have an onsite laboratory and methods that are proprietary to All-On-4 Clinic brand, which enable us to deliver on our promise time and time again. These are NOT some temporary make-shift teeth, or pre-fabricated dentures that are hollowed out and retro-fitted to the fixtures. Using those latter methods would certainly make the initial treatment much cheaper, but the the lack of reliability and fragile nature of such methods means that there will need to be a more permanent bridge made at some point in the near future, at an additional fee, leading to a far greater overall cost. However, apart from the overall dollar value, there is also the biological cost and oral health implications by using such alternative non-definitive methods. Apart from difficulties to clean and maintain the teeth, in using cheaper methods there are numerous other compromises that often lead to a deterioration in the health of the bone around the fixtures, or even failures. The problem is that this treatment, when the problems become known, is complex to undo and often impossible to re-do.
Taking into consideration the comparative value of what we offer, especially in the face of raising costs of components and skilled personnel, there was a push to do the opposite and raise our rates by 10%-15%. However in the interest of our revised motto to make it more affordable and more accessible in 2015, we resolved to keeping our prices the same as they have been for a further period of 12 months whilst maintaining our standard without compromise .
Another topic of discussion when it came to a review of our fees was a promotion that we ran in 2013 for Porcelain-Zirconia teeth upgrade. The fees for a full set of Zirconia-Porcelain teeth is typically $22K. The promotion was a full set for $8,800 for the first 80 patients who registered. The uptake was overwhelming, and we have since negotiated with our CAD-CAM Zirconia laboratory extended arrangements that now enable us to offer the reduced pricing ALL our patients, new and old. This pricing is only available to patients who received their surgical treatment at the All-On-4 Clinic.
Finally, in keeping with our competitive pricing policy, we produced a closing statement in summary of our position on Dental Implants Costs:
At All-On-4 Clinic we are committed to helping change the lives of everyday people every day. We acknowledge that an extension of our commitment includes providing a service that is accessible and affordable to more people. We are also committed to maintaing our high standards without compromise and to providing our patients with predictable results and a streamlined process. Nevertheless, we strive to remain competitive when it comes to the cost of dental implants and All-On-4, and to be leaders in terms of value.
At the All-On-4 Clinic, we know that we offer the most competitive price for the type of treatment that we offer. We know this because with 10 facilities across Australia and New Zealand, we can pass the savings from bulk purchases of components and laboratory production to our patients. We also do it quicker than less experienced operators, which again plays into our ability to keep prices at the lowest possible level.