Treatment acceptance can be a sensitive subject for many dentists. You do not want to come across as pushy or salesy, especially for a health-related service. However, you can improve your case acceptance rate by simply rethinking the way you talk to your patients about recommended treatments.
Explain and Educate
Patient education is vital to both oral health and treatment acceptance. Provide a thorough explanation of any treatment needed without coming across as critical of their oral health. Any whiff of judgment is a turn-off to many patients. Avoid being too graphic and refrain from over-explaining. It can be helpful to have pamphlets, laminated charts, dental models, or other visuals on hand to aid in explaining a condition or treatment. The key is to provide a thorough explanation of their current dental and oral health.
If they are curious about hairline cracks in their teeth, for example, explain craze lines. If they want to know why their gums bleed when they floss, explain periodontal health and how to prevent it. Always follow up with suggested treatment options. When patients feel that you are invested in their education and wellbeing, they will likely feel more confident in the care you’re providing.
Emphasize the Benefits
While being thorough and honest about a condition, you should also focus on the benefits of a particular treatment. Always strive for buy-in. When most people are approached with an important decision from an outside source, they tend to go on the defensive, especially when it comes to something as intimate as health care.
Be careful how you present information. Your patient needs to understand their situation, whether it is an urgent oral health concern, a cosmetic issue, or a preventive measure. They need to be able to follow the logic in your suggestions for a service and understand exactly how it can positively impact their oral health.
Once they have a thorough understanding of the issue and the solution, they are more likely to accept the treatment they need.
Be an Excellent Listener
During your patient appointments, don’t just run through a treatment checklist. Patients want to believe that they’ve been heard, not talked at. Ask what their oral health goals and concerns are, and then let them speak. It shows that you care about them and how they feel, both before and after treatment.
Encourage Two-Way Communication
Make sure that you strove for ongoing, two-way communication with patients. These conversations help ensure they understand their oral health issues, are educated on treatment options and are given solutions in a positive manner. Patients will know that your suggestions are offered with their best interests in mind — that you care about them as individuals, not as a mouth to fix or a goal to meet.
Schedule a consultation with our dental consultant team today to discuss more techniques on how you can boost treatment acceptance and improve your practice.