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Published on November 16, 2012

The art of communicating with your patients

The art of communicating with your patients

The simple act of communication is not always so simple to do.

Being a dental professional there is a pressure to communicate effectively with patients to recommend treatments and educate them about their oral health. Yet the truth of the matter is, taking the time to communicate effectively can be difficult, especially when we are all busy.

Dentists are often not keen to ‘sell’ to their patients, as it can feel unnatural in a healthcare environment. The real problem may be that dental professionals view communication as a sales pitch rather than an educational insight.

Here’s an example of a typical scenario:

Billy visits the dentist once a year, he doesn’t mind this because he’s in and out in around 5 minutes after a quick check-up from the dentist but he doesn’t believe he’s getting value for his money.

A few years down the line, Billy’s diet and lifestyle changes – he starts to consume sugary foods and drinks. On his next trip to the dentist, he has to have several fillings and begins to resent visiting the dentist!

You see a pattern begins to emerge – a simple 10 minute chat at every visit, discussing Billy’s lifestyle and educating him on the effects of his diet could’ve gone a long way. Not only would Billy feel he’s received value for money but he’d also be educated and aware of how to look after his teeth. The clear message is, communication is the key – especially as preventative dentistry is becoming more and more important. It’s now time to think about patient – dentist communication as a way of building relationships, not as a tool to sell! So what are you waiting for…

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