Dos and don'ts for case acceptance: Be prepared to answer unspoken questions

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When recommending treatment, it's relatively easy to respond to any questions patients ask. The hard part is answering the questions that aren't asked. Patients often have concerns that go unexpressed unless you draw them out. Whether due to embarrassment, fear, politeness, or forgetfulness, they sometimes avoid subjects that can have a profound influence on the decision they make.


Anticipate all questions the patient may have in mind. If you've presented many cases, you probably already know all the concerns a patient might have and all the obstacles that may stand in the way of acceptance. Typically, these would be in the areas of financing, possible discomfort, convenience, and aesthetics. Drawing on your experience, approach every presentation planning to answer such questions -- whether or not they are asked.


Don't rush through your script. Scripting the presentation is an excellent way to make sure you (or the treatment coordinator) progress through all the proper steps. Once you're accustomed to following the script, resist the temptation to quickly "go through the motions." Allow the time needed for creating a dialogue rather than a monologue. The patient will communicate more openly and the likelihood of acceptance will increase.

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