Forgot your password?
Contact us for help.
Events Articles Audio Video

The Value Glass



Do you know the number one reason patients don’t accept treatment?


Treatment is rejected when a patient’s value glass is not full. Take a quick trip to your local Boat and RV Show and you may see what the value glass is all about. Those who buy may not have teeth or much money, but they’re willing to find a way to invest in a new bass boat. It’s up to you and your staff to continually fill the value glass for your patients.  When it’s full, case acceptance and case completion become the norm in your practice. Excerpted from Ken Runkle’s presentation on the 7 Characteristics of a Treatment Coordinator, this short piece on filling the value glass will be invaluable to your practice and your team. Read this brief overview on the importance of filling the value glass for your patients.



Download the entire article. [Evaluation Time: 10 minutes]

Listen to the companion audio session. [Listening Time: 5:21 minutes]

Subscribe to iTunes and automatically get new audio sessions


 The Value Glass

The Key to High Case Acceptance


by Ken Runkle – America’s Profitability Expert™



Do you know the number one reason patients refuse treatment?


  1. Money
  2. Time
  3. Value


The answer is Value. Patients who understand the value of the treatment will always find a way to make the time and get the money.

Human nature demonstrates daily that people pay for what they value regardless of price. If one seeks to understand the principle of value versus money, simply attend what I believe is the number one case acceptance seminar. A trip to a local “Boat and RV Show” will clearly demonstrate the principle for the doctor and his or her entire staff.

Although boats and RVs represent substantial investments, a doctor may find patients who rejected his or her treatment plan last week because they “couldn’t afford it,” now willing to mortgage their house or borrow beyond their means to acquire that which they value. They may not have many teeth or much money in the bank, but they are going to find a way to get a new bass boat. Money is not the issue. Value is the issue. If we value something enough, we will always find a way to pay for it.

If a practice can help a patient value their smile as much as the new bass boat or Winnebago they desire, case acceptance and case completion flows easily.



Every day patients walk into your practice with what I call a value glass. Their glass may be empty, with dentistry having very little value to them.  Maybe they come from a family where dental health and having a great smile were not highly valued.  For empty value glass patients, dentistry is more like a necessary evil than a pathway to health, beauty and the transformational confidence of a beautiful smile. 


You may have patients whose glass is half full. Maybe they’ve heard and seen some great stories of work your practice has completed and they are beginning to see the value of investing in a great smile. But, their glass is not yet full and their not yet ready to say “Yes” to all the treatment they need or desire. Maybe they are sold on the health benefits, but need to fill up on the possibilities that a beautiful smile brings.



Or, maybe your team has continually promoted, shared, and filled the value glasses of your patients with the both the internal and external value of a healthy, stunning smile. Their glasses are full and spilling over as they wait expectantly for treatment to be offered. A definitive “Yes” is already secured because they will do whatever it takes to find the time and the money to make it happen.




1. Believe in the Value

In order to fill the value glass, your team must first believe in the value of your dentistry. If your team is squeamish about a $25,000 case, your patients will undoubtedly catch their unbelief. If your team highly values the $25,000 case and believes the patient both deserves the treatment and that it will provide a transformative result, the patient latches on to their belief.  Each team member must carry around their own overflowing value glass, regularly spilling it into the hearts and minds of patients.

2. Consistently and Intentionally Promote the Value

The doctor and his or her entire team must consistently and intentionally fill the value glass for patients.  Promoting the value of dentistry for health, well-being, confidence, beauty, and the many other benefits of a great smile will make it easier for your patients to understand the value of your treatment in their own lives.   Intentionally sharing real stories, stunning pictures and transformational treatments with patients has a cumulative effect over time. Be aware that it may take five years to fill a patient’s value glass depending upon their background. But, once full, case acceptance pours freely from the overflowing value glass.

3. Understand the 80% Rule

Years ago Dr. Tom McDougal shared with me his belief that 80% of all patients can get all the dentistry they need or desire in the next 7 years. My personal experience of more than two and a half decades of in-office consulting confirms Dr. McDougal’s assertion. Make sure everyone in your practice understand and believes the 80% rule.


The Empty Glass Reminder

As a symbolic reminder for your team, you may want to place an empty glass somewhere in your practice where it will be seen daily as a consistent prompt to intentionally fill the value glass of every patient, every day.

Fill the value glass to overflowing and watch your case acceptance rates soar.




Go for it!



– Ken Runkle, America’s Profitability Expert™, is the founder and president of Paragon Management, Inc. and has been helping dental practices reach peak profitability for twenty-five years.


Paragon is the leading dental practice management and dental consulting firm for today's dentist. Over 25 years of service have established us as the industry experts when it comes to growing your practice and achieving the success that you deserve. Paragon is America's Profitability Experts.



Paragon Management Associates Inc. is celebrating 31 years in helping dental practices to achieve Growth, Profitability and Financial Independence!
The Paragon Program is offering a multitude of new Academies in 2019!
Twitter Facebook