Today, when patients reject treatment you propose, it may not really signal the end of the discussion. There may be a money issue, or other practical or emotional barrier. Their hesitancy could also simply result from the need to get used to the idea of the improvement you're recommending. It's hard to know what they're thinking. But your best course of action is clear: Remind them periodically of the treatment option you presented -- and its benefits.
Be patients' expert dental care advisor. In your patients' lives, you and the hygienist represent not only care providers but also care advisors. If you've established a trusting relationship, patients know they can count on you for expert guidance. So give it to them, not only during initial treatment presentation but afterward. As long as you have their best interests at heart, there's no need to feel guilty about the revenue generated.
Don't pressure or disrespect patients. In cases when patients say "No," especially when you recommend treatment that is obviously (to you) needed, don't become condescending or otherwise insulting. And, of course, apply no pressure. Gentle reminders, based on your professional judgment, will always be appreciated.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit www.levingroup.com/gpseminars.
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