One way to make your commitment clear is by treating patients like partners in maintaining, restoring, and improving their oral health.
Invite patients into the decision-making process. You're the dental expert, but patients are the ultimate decision-makers. Communicate this to them, explaining that your role is to provide the professional guidance and clinical skills they need if they want to enjoy the benefits of excellent dentistry. Say "we" rather than "I" when discussing proposed treatment, and ask what they think when you explain cosmetic and other elective procedures. These signs of respect will illustrate your commitment to meeting their needs.
Don't assume they won't understand clinical matters. Explain them in simple terms. If patients ask you to explain technicalities, don't just resort to clinical jargon. Find ways to simplify the subject. Use visual aids (including drawings you make for them). This effort shows them how committed you are.
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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