Dentistry is challenging enough when you take into account difficult treatment plans, finance management, staff issues, and patient retention—and then you need to consider the case acceptance rates from patients for their treatment plans. When you understand how to communicate your dental recommendations and develop a bond with patients, the case acceptance rates in your practice will increase and you’ll observe a rise in production.
You’ll also become more confident as a provider as you gain experience in presenting treatment plans. Remember, all patients look at dental treatment from a different standpoint, taking into account financial, emotional, and medical considerations. Here are some ways you can help your patients have the confidence to move forward with your treatment recommendations.
5 Ways to Build Confidence With Your Dental Treatment Plans
1. Encourage same day treatment.
Being efficient is one of the top ways you can retain patients and increase your overall gross production. If you have an opening in your schedule, encourage patients to get the work done in a timely fashion, possibly even the same day as their hygiene visit. In order for same-day treatment to be effective, you need to have your dental team on board and have them use the same language and encouragement.
Training your administrative and clinical staff to voice that the doctor may be able to offer treatment at their recall appointment will show patients you quickly address any dental concerns and put their oral health first. When you and your team become comfortable recommending same-day treatment, you will notice your case acceptance percentage rise drastically.
2. Develop a strong rapport.
Learning a patient’s name may not be enough to get a patient to sign on for an expensive treatment plan and follow through with dental work. Dentists are so busy that sometimes it becomes difficult to develop a solid bond with patients. Consider taking a few extra minutes to introduce yourself and leave a warm impression on your patient.
Your dental employees are also one of your most valuable assets since they spend the most time with your patients. Chat to your team about your patients and what is going on in their lives, so you can have a more intimate visit. It’s also worth investing time into consulting with your hygienists and treatment coordinators as sometimes they are the deciding factor when discussing treatment once you leave the operatory.
3. Look at the patient as a whole.
If you are looking to increase your case acceptance rates, sometimes you need to take a step back and look at your patient as a person and not just a mouth. This is where your dental team (as previously mentioned) is invaluable as they often spend a lot more time with your patients. When you learn about your patient’s lifestyle, finances, medical health, and dental concerns, it can influence your treatment plan.
Patients want personalized care and one of the first things they hesitate on when it comes to dental work is if they feel like they’re being treated as a case number. You may want to do dental implants for your patient’s missing teeth, but if your patient is struggling financially or not interested, you might need to discuss all treatment options and recommend one that will benefit that specific patient. Your case acceptance rates will skyrocket because you are providing quality dental care, but also caring about the overall well-being of your patient.
4. Be flexible with payment.
Finances play a major role in dental case acceptance rates. Try and be understanding by offering in-office dental plans or third-party financing for patients with no dental coverage. For other patients who are hesitant about dental treatment because of the high price tag, consider having your front desk offer payment plans to spread apart a large bill. Patients appreciate when dental offices are understanding because it makes them feel valued instead of just a payment.
5. Improve your communication skills.
Dentists are not always smooth when it comes to presenting complex treatment plans. You cannot assume your patients understand dentistry and explain treatment in technical terms. Instead, try to use everyday language and easy metaphors to explain treatment. Rather than use the words “caries” or “interproximal,” replace these terms with “cavity” or “in-between teeth.”
Also, remember to discuss your patient’s oral health goals and any concerns they may have. Rushing between patients without comfortably explaining their treatment may cause them to hesitate about making the next appointment because they don’t understand the procedure. Emphasize that treatment will improve their oral health and show confidence when you are discussing detailed treatment plans. This will not only increase case acceptance, but will make your patients feel at ease and more likely to make future appointments.
A little extra effort can make your patients feel valued and confident in your treatment plan.
You may be an incredible clinical dentist, but if you cannot relay the treatment confidently and make your patient feel comfortable, your case acceptance rates may not reach the levels you are aiming for. Learn to discuss treatment in everyday language and have your front desk encourage same-day treatment when the time allows. When you are able to communicate dental treatment in a way that makes a patient feel valued, your case acceptance and revenue will quickly soar.
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