What is your current percentage of patients who have accepted your care this year?
Case acceptance in the dental practice is at an all-time low. If you notice 50% of your patients are leaving with the “I need to think about it syndrome,” continue reading and discover a few tips to optimize your treatment acceptance.
It’s essential that dental professionals are able to communicate the diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan in a way that patients can more easy to understand their oral conditions, how inflammation and infection will affect their overall health.
We must take the time to truly understand our patients, their concerns and what they value for their life and overall health.
Truly understanding our patients requires a certain level of skill, which includes the ability to actively listen, understand the patient’s needs and concerns, and articulate the benefits of the recommended treatment according to their needs and values.
By asking open-ended questions about what the patient hopes to accomplish with their smile, and what their main concerns are, dental professionals can gain valuable insights into the patient’s goals and expectations. This information can then be used to tailor the treatment plan to better meet the patient’s needs and preferences.
It’s also important for dental professionals to understand the emotional factors that may be influencing the patient’s decision-making process. Patients may have fears or anxieties about dental procedures, or they may be seeking a cosmetic improvement to boost their self-confidence. By understanding these underlying emotions, dental professionals can frame their services in a way that resonates with the patient and addresses their concerns.
We must use words our patient understands and not speak in dental lingo which patients most likely do not understand. Use words that paint pictures of what is happening in their mouth.
Break it down into a conversation centered around what your patient values and use words to describe their dental condition. Use words they can easily understand.
These are tips that build trust and trust is a #1 reason your patients will accept your care.
Examples of descriptive words:
- Etc, etc.
Take intra oral images. Show the patient these images while you are seated with your patient knee-to-knee and eye-to-eye. Make your patient part of the decision-making process. Help your patient “Own their disease.”
This is called Proxemics which is part of rapport and building trust.
When dental professionals improve case acceptance they provide better care to their patients. Ultimately, the goal is to build trust and establish a long-term relationship with patients by providing the best possible care and a patient-centered experience.
Engaging in non-interruptive conversation is a great way for dental professionals to better understand their patients and their needs.
When you seek to understand what your patients desires and attach the benefits of your services around a benefit for them, case acceptance improves.
What are the primary values of dental patients?
Ultimately, it’s important for dental professionals to recognize that patients make decisions for their own reasons, and that it’s the dental professional’s role to provide patients with the information and guidance they need to make informed choices. By adopting a patient-centered approach and focusing on building relationships, dental professionals can help their patients achieve their oral health goals in a way that feels comfortable and supportive.
Patients often feel more comfortable and engaged when they are given the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings about a proposed treatment plan. Encourage a dialogue to help patients take ownership of the decision-making process. Patient’s will feel more confident about scheduling and paying for treatment when you make treatment planning a partnership with patients not a one-way path.
In addition to promoting a more comfortable atmosphere, a conversational approach to case presentation can also help to build trust and establish a stronger relationship between the patient and you, the expert.
By demonstrating a genuine interest in the patient’s concerns and needs, and by providing clear and honest information about the proposed treatment plan, dental professionals can help patients feel more confident about the care they are receiving.
Ultimately, the key to improving case acceptance rates is to focus on building strong relationships with patients, and this can be accomplished through open dialogue, active listening, and a patient-centered approach to care. By putting the patient’s needs and concerns first, dental professionals can help their patients achieve better oral health outcomes while also building a loyal and satisfied patient base.
The motivational interview (MI) philosophy is a great way to create a partnership with your patient, understand their needs, get them to own their disease and accept your best care.
Below I have attached a resource to learn more about motivational interviewing. I believe you will discover this philosophy is very helpful to overcome challenging case acceptance.
- How do you get patients to “Own their disease?”
- When was the last time you looked at your percentage of patients who have outstanding treatment?
- What’s is your plan to get these patients to schedule their necessary treatment?
Please know that I am here to support you and your team to have your best year ever.
Schedule a coffee chat and let’s determine your best path to achieve your goals this year.