Do's and don'ts for answering patient questions effectively

2016 11 18 14 42 01 206 Practice Success2 400

When patients ask you questions, give them the answers they need. Even if it's something you've already explained to other patients, if you think the answer should be obvious, or even if you have to get the answer from someone else. Make the effort to satisfy your patients' need for information. When you do, you send the message that you care.


Be prepared with scripts for frequently asked questions (FAQs). Team members hear certain questions regularly in practices. Here, for example, are FAQs related to insurance:

  • Is this treatment covered by my insurance?
  • What is my deductible?
  • Is there an annual maximum limit to coverage?
  • Why is this service not covered by my insurance?

At the monthly business review meeting, the dentist and staff should work together to create a list of recurring questions they often encounter and then write effective scripts to respond to them appropriately.


Don't say "You'll have to ask someone else" to patients. You may not know the answers to patients' questions, but take responsibility for getting the answers they need. Rather than leaving it up to patients to ask others, make the effort to connect them with the staff member who can help them out.

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

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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