How to Discuss Treatments With Patients

November 16, 2020

As a dental practitioner, you understand that you may have to deal with cautious patients. Dental healthcare may seem scary to some. When it comes to speaking to patients about treatment plans, the way you present the options and recommendations is as important as the plan itself. Getting a patient to feel confident enough in your practice to follow through with treatment is critical to your practice’s financial success. Practice management can help get jittery patients to not only understand their options but also to sign up for the recommendations for overall health improvement.

Presenting a Treatment Plan

Once a consultation occurs and all issues are identified, the focus needs to shift to providing a sufficient explanation of what happens next. Your treatment recommendations likely go beyond what is medically necessary in the short term. By having a team member give a clear and concise description of the treatment plan, the patient may be more apt to continue it past the crucial first phase. Learning how to present the treatment plan and the tools your practice uses to do so are critical steps in gaining patient confidence.

Remain positive

Patients who put off dental care typically do so either out of fear or lack of finances. One way to overcome the first obstacle is by remaining upbeat during your explanation of the treatment plan. When discussing the dental issues that need fixing sooner, identify and explain the health consequences of delaying treatment. Speak compassionately and empathize with the worry patients may express. This is a good time to educate the patient on the practitioner’s credentials and how the practice provides superior care before, during, and after treatment plans. Remind patients that according to, oral health impacts other body systems and may contribute to:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

Keep it simple

You use technical terms around the office, but when it comes to patient interaction, less is more. This does not mean you should speak down to patients, but modify your vocabulary to use fewer formal medical terms. Give appropriate examples and scenarios to aid in your explanation. Referring to amalgam fillings as silver is a perfectly acceptable switch that can get your message through on a level understood by the patient. Use online resources through your patient portal to illustrate procedures.

Present the numbers

Patients have budgets. When presenting treatment plans, try to have the exact costs. If you can have to estimate for insurance purposes,  ensure that the patient understands the number may change. A patient will not likely continue onto suggested treatments if the requisite procedures cost far more than initially indicated. Since your practice relies on retaining patients, presenting accurate pricing goes a long way to gaining trust.

Let us assist you

Patient management is a priority for the successful growth of your practice. At DG, we have developed ways to enhance the patient experience through the use of technology. We can help provide you with an online office environment that allows patients to access treatment plans, find explanations of terms, and see financial details. If you are interested in learning more about the patient experience plans that might work for your practice, contact us at 1-877-477-2311. Our staff is ready, willing, and able to boost your practice to the next level!

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