Four Things to Never Say to Patients
Two of the most important (and often exhausting) components of dentistry are dealing with treatment explanations and handling patient questions. After a few years as a dental professional, a person can only get so excited discussing plaque! Even so, just like actors putting on a play day after day, we owe it to our “audience” to remain upbeat and enthusiastic about the information we give them. We have to guard against the urge to simply “phone it in” and watch what we say and how we say it to promote confidence and patient satisfaction.
Patients need to understand what is happening during their dental care. Most have very little preliminary knowledge about their mouth and teeth. To accept dental treatment, they need to know why they have developed a problem, how we intend to correct the problem, and what they need to do to maintain or prevent the problem from reoccurring. They need to be instructed in modern techniques and materials, diagnostic tools, and current thinking on periodontal issues. They should be brought up-to-date on links across the medical spectrum. The mouth is no longer separate from the rest of the body (even if it still is a stand-alone on most insurance plans).
While we are making our explanations, we should avoid a few statements:
1. “This won’t hurt”
Rather than saying, “This won’t hurt”, say, “We do our best to keep you as comfortable as possible. Let me know if anything is bothering you. I get very focused on your teeth and may not notice if I am leaning on your arm for example. Let me know right away.” This gives the patient permission to speak up without fear, and focuses on an external issue (“leaning on your arm”) rather than possible oral issues. After hearing that they can, rarely do they actually complain.
2. “Brushing a little better will take care of the problem”
3. “There is no charge for this”
4. “We can do that crown today”
How we talk and interact with our patients is an important facet to their general acceptance and satisfaction with our care. Watching what we say is important.
Carol Tekavec RDH is the Director of Hygiene for McKenzie Management. Carol can improve your hygiene department in just one day of training “in your office.” Interested in knowing more about how to improve your hygiene department? Email email@example.com.
McKenzie Newsletter Information:
To unsubscribe: To discontinue receiving the Sally McKenzie eManagment newsletter,
click on the link at the very bottom of this page for instant removal,
To report technical problems with this newsletter or to request technical help,
please send a descriptive email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To request services, products or general inquires about The McKenzie Company activities
please send a descriptive email to: email@example.com
If you would like to have any of your dental practice concerns answered personally by Sally McKenzie,
please send a descriptive email to her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyrights 1980-Present The McKenzie Company - All Rights Reserved.