Inspiring confidence through effective in-person and virtual communication.
As a general dentist deeply passionate about providing the highest level of care possible, you may be wondering how to best convey your expertise to patients. In most cases, it all comes down to communication and finding ways to connect with patients in a manner that sparks interest or conversation.
Here are 7 ways to do this.
1. Include areas of expertise such as education, experience, and continuing training on your website.
Many patients rely on the internet to find a new dentist, making a well-crafted website one of the most important things you can do for your practice. Your website should include a nicely written biography as well as a list areas of expertise as well as your education, experience, and even any continuing training opportunities you’ve completed or are in the process of completing.
Any notable experience in the dental field should be included, but you can also include other subjects of training or volunteer work that apply to your expertise.
2. Reference professional association memberships and what they mean to patients.
Your website is also a fantastic place to reference your memberships to any professional dental associations or organizations. You can include the name of the association, your length of membership, and any leadership or speaking opportunities you may have had with them.
Take things a step further by also briefly explaining to patients how your memberships impact them. Today’s patients are constantly exposed to dental care trends and are more aware of the possibilities in cosmetic, restorative, and orthodontic dentistry. Let them know that your active memberships and peer-to-peer interactions with fellow dentists keep you connected with evolving industry standards thus taking your expertise to a higher level.
3. Take the time to explain to patients what you’re doing and why during treatment.
Although you know what you’re doing and your patient entrusts you with their dental care, don’t underestimate the importance of walking patients through what you’re doing and why.
Taking the time to explain to patients about what you see on X-rays, why you’re recommending a specific treatment, and how the treatment process is going to go does two things. Firstly, it gives you a natural opportunity to convey your expertise. Secondly, it inspires more confidence in patients and shows them your respect for their experience and dental health.
4. Point out new dental technology being used and how it benefits patients.
You’ve spent time researching new dental technology and money investing in the best options for your practice. Sharing this with patients as a new piece of technology is being used shows that you take advances in dentistry seriously. It also gives you a chance to teach patients about a new tool or technique, piquing their interest while also showing that you value their comfort and health. Combining your expertise as a general dentist and advances in technology will do a lot for your patients.
5. Actively expand your communication skills and other soft skills.
As mentioned earlier, conveying expertise effectively largely comes down to your own communication skills. Thankfully, the internet has made it possible to access online classes designed for professionals who are interested in improving their interpersonal skills with patients.
As an added bonus, working on communication and other soft skills will also positively impact your working relationships with fellow dentists and your staff.
6. Provide a portfolio for patients receiving restorative, cosmetic, or orthodontic care.
Throughout your work with patients, you should be collecting before and after images of the patient’s progress. While something like a routine filling or dental crown is self-explanatory to most patients, in-depth restorative or cosmetic care (i.e. smile makeovers) and orthodontic care can be difficult to imagine.
Providing a smile gallery on your website or keeping a digital portfolio readily available gives you a chance to show similar examples of your work to patients. Nothing conveys expertise to patients quite like being able to proudly show off high-quality work you’ve done yourself.
7. Continue education through courses in advancing techniques or new services.
One thing all experts have in common is that they consistently improve their education and knowledge. Continuing your education and offering new services to patients shows your dedication to providing superior dental care.
General dentists who are already offering preventive care, restorative dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry can go further with orthodontic care. Adding orthodontics as one of your areas of expertise, specifically straight wire orthodontics, can increase revenue for practices and allow existing patients to get treatment without the need for outside referrals. The AOS Basic Straight Wire Orthodontics course is a fantastic starting point.
Membership and continued training through the American Orthodontic Society.
If you’re not yet a member of the American Orthodontic Society, we encourage you to consider joining. Our network consists of over 1500 fellow general and pediatric dentists who’ve chosen to grow their practice by offering orthodontic care to patients of all ages.
You can also find our available training courses right on our website. We are currently offering both basic and intermediate comprehensive straight wire courses for dentists just like you.
Today’s dentists have cutting-edge technology and access to premium education courses at their fingertips. By investing in your skills and growing your areas of expertise that you can offer to your clients, you will be demonstrating that they are in safe hands and that you have their best interests at heart—and that’s a perfect example of where a picture is going to be worth more than a thousand words.
To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.