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The £99 CBCT Scan

Colin Campbell
by Colin Campbell on 28/01/19 18:00





You’ve just bought yourself a new CBCT machine.

You decided to go for the lower end of the market because they’re pricey these things, so you’ve got one for £40k.

You’ve taken it on a five-year repayment plan with 0% interest (as if that ever existed for these things) so you owe £8k a year.

That’s about £666 a month which means you need to take about seven £99 scans a month to stand still.

You can see how the business works out and how the numbers can work as long as you’re doing volume.

Remember though that you have a responsibility to report that scan… so maybe you decide to send your scans off to someone else to have them reported. That’ll cost you another £50 or £60.

The difficulty here is that you’ve charged the patient £160 for a scan that you know nothing about. So, the point of taking the scan and your insight into the practice case and your ability to plan things, discuss it with the patient and gain informed consent, and assess the risks of the surgery in advance and develop creative solutions and be a surgeon are all encompassed within that £160 that the patient has just paid.

Oh, and by the way, you never made any money.

If you didn’t get a five-year guarantee on your scanner, at some point in that time it will break and you’ll have to pay for it to be repaired.

You will certainly have IT issues that will need upgrading and changed in relation to your scanner over time and that hasn’t been factored into your £99 yet.

You might realise that it actually takes quite a lot of time out of your book for you to scan a patient so you might decide to competency train your team but they’ll likely want a pay rise for taking CBCT scans and the time it takes to train them will have to come out of your book too.

So, all of a sudden you see that the £99 scan model isn’t working very well so you decide to put your price up to £150 (not including report)

The problem you have now is that there’s still a guy down the road doing a £99 scan. How do you justify that?

You justify that by knowing how to report a scan and interpret it so you can talk to the patient with authority about what you see in front of you.

You justify it by your expertise.

You justify it by your training.

The best thing you can do (which is effectively what we do at the practice) is to do all the scans for free.

Nobody can get cheaper than free. A £0 scan is as good as it gets in the commodity world.

You can then though have a policy in your practice that none of the scans leave your practice unless you have reported them. The cost for reporting them can be set at whatever level you want because you took the time to become an expert in reporting scans.

Drive to the bottom of the commodity market if you want but you’ll realise that you’re going broke and there’ll be no way back.

Go in the other direction… learn how to look at these pieces of extraordinary imaging, bring them into a workflow in your practice for dental implants, assess pathology, assess risks, discuss with your patient the possible options.

It’s an extraordinary patient education tool when it’s used by someone who knows what they’re looking at.

Why not train yourself to know what you’re looking at?

Find out about our next CBCT Master Class here.


Blog Post Number: 1900


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Colin Campbell
Written by Colin Campbell
Written by Author