For many dentists, treatment acceptance can be a difficult topic. Nobody enjoys feeling pushy about a service they provide or a product that they offer, and the same concept holds true in dentistry. However, did you know that you can improve your case acceptance rate by simply reworking the way you talk to your patients? Learn how to have two-sided patient communication in our latest blog.
Help Them Understand the Benefits
When approached with an important decision from an outside source, people tend to be on the defensive — especially when it comes to something as intimate as healthcare. That’s why you should rethink the way that you handle case acceptance.
- Your patient needs to understand their situation, whether it is a cosmetic issue, a preventative measure, or an urgent oral health concern.
- Patients need to be able to follow your reasoning for why the service is necessary and how exactly it can change their oral health for the better.
Once they have a true understanding of the ‘problem’ and the ‘solution,’ they will feel more compelled to accept the treatment they need.
Stop Speaking and Listen
During your patient appointments, don’t simply run through the checklist of explaining their treatment. Patients want to feel that they’ve been listened to, not talked at.
Ask what their goals, needs, and concerns with regards to their oral health, confidence, and quality-of-life. Then, let them speak. Giving them the chance to voice their own opinion shows you care about them and how they feel, both before and after their treatment.
Educate and Elevate
Patient education is important. While there is a fine line between explaining and over-explaining, you should do your best to educate your patients about their oral health. Avoid judgment and being too graphic, but provide a thorough explanation of their current dental and oral health.
If they are curious about tiny cracks in their teeth, explain craze lines. If they want to know why their gums bleed when they floss, explain periodontal health and how to prevent it. When patients feel that you are invested in not only their wellbeing but their education, too, they feel more confident in the care you’re providing.
You can increase patient acceptance by having a two-way conversation with patients and including them in their oral health. These conversations will ensure patients understand their problem and are given a solution, are allowed to discuss their own concerns and goals, and are educated on treatment and services. Patients will feel that your suggestions are being given with their best interest in mind — that you care about your patients as individuals, not just as a mouth to fix or a goal to meet.