Let me tell you a secret: your patients probably aren’t interested in dentistry. Nobody really wants a root canal or a dental crown or filling. But do you know what your patients do want? They want an attractive, functional, pain-free smile. It’s your job as their dentist to help them see how dentistry can help them get what they want. In a conversation with my friend Chris Bowman, we talked about how dentists can see an increase in dental case acceptance by doing this.
Starting off right
Your office staff can start addressing what patients want from the very first phone call with a prospective patient. Start by taking control of the call with a simple question that applies to any prospective patient: “It sounds like you’re looking for a new dentist, is that right?” Then ask what the patient is looking for in a dentist and connect those things to what your office offers. Finally, before ending the call, ask if you can make an appointment and provide a few scheduling options.
5 Step Problem Presentation System
To help you implement this way of thinking further in your practice, Chris has a 5 Step Problem Presentation System which he has developed to help patients see how recommended treatments can give them what they want.
First take time to sit down with your patients and find out what they want. What are their long term goals for their dental health? You may also want to find out what they don’t want and make sure you understand their expectations for dental care.
Next you will want to get to know your patients’ smiles and discover what’s going on. This step includes taking digital photos and X-rays as well as the hygienists’ initial cleaning where some areas of concern can be noted.
This is where you talk about the state of the patient’s smile. Try to note good things as well as the areas of concern. Clearly explain each problem to help the patient understand why it matters and how it can impact his or her smile. Ideally, connect the problem to how it will impact those dental health goals you talked about before.
Now that the patient understands and accepts the problem, you can explain the potential treatment options and make your recommendation.
Once the patient has agreed with the solution, you can discuss scheduling and other details and get ready to move ahead with the treatment.
Check out the full conversation I had with Chris to get more insights here: