Often, a person’s perception is heavily influenced by what they hear. How would you describe your practice or the services that you provide? Are you underselling what you offer? When patients come to you, they trust you because they know you will be open, honest, and able to explain the state of their oral health in a way that they will understand. The language you choose should be carefully chosen to convey your message. Find out more about how you can improve your dental communication by reading the following tips.
A “Comprehensive Examination” or “Check-Up”
To most people, “check-ups” sound like a useless and menial procedure. When dental care is referred to in this manner, the quality of the care is diminished. Consider it similar to taking your car in for an annual tune-up. Use the more professional-sounding “comprehensive examination.” This emphasizes that you and your team are doing a lot more than just looking at the teeth. While performing a thorough cleaning and looking for signs of decay or oral cancer, you are also providing recommendations for additional treatment. This goes far beyond a routine checkup.
“It’s just a…”
This is a phrase you shouldn’t use when leading to a diagnosis. By saying, ‘it’s just a cavity or ‘it’s just a little inflammation, you are minimizing the importance of taking action in the first place. Your patients might interpret this as an approval to put off treatment until later. Many people are unaware of the importance of their oral health, and how oral diseases may spread, worsen, and result in other painful and expensive problems. Your diagnosis should be crystal clear to your patients, but never suggest that they can wait or that the diagnosis is unimportant.
“Whitening” is Not the Same as “Bleaching”
When speaking with patients about whitening treatments, use the word “whitening” rather than “bleaching”. For some patients, this is an indication that the whitening process involves the use of bleach. Additionally, it sounds a lot more painful than “whitening.” The use of the term “bleaching” implies that harsh chemicals are involved. Using the term whitening is a great term to use since it accurately describes what the treatment is about: whitening the smile of the patient.
Choosing the right terminology is very important. Your patients rely on your communication skills to learn about their oral health. You should always be clear, concise, and honest with them. In general, the public does not always view dental professionals in a positive light. Transparency in communication is one of the best ways to bridge the gap between your team and your patients. By describing your services in strong and descriptive terms, you can help to demonstrate your value to your patients and avoid undermining the importance of your work.