Every time you make a case presentation you are putting your reputation and the reputation of your dental practice on the line. My lab guy once said, “Our dental lab is only as good as the last crown we made.” Likewise, as Serenity Smiles Dentist we are only as good as our last restoration, extraction, set of dentures or crown preparation. This holds true for your case presentation skills as well.
Case presentation and acceptance is the cornerstone of a successful practice. Make each and every case presentation count. It’s your big chance to sell the patient on yourself, your practice and your dental services. Here are 5 common mistakes dentists make during case presentations and treatment recommendations.
Thinking about something else. If you are thinking about your next denture patient, the patients in the waiting room, what your spouse said as you walked out of the house or about your next vacation, then you’re not giving your patients or your case presentations your full attention. Patients will notice. Your staff will notice. You’ve heard it before -be in the moment. You must have a clear focus and be aware of the patient and the nonverbal signals they project while in the chair when recommending dental treatment. Clear your mind before going into the room, focus on the person in the chair, and never leave in a hurry.
Using Too many technical terms. Your patients didn’t go to dental school and they don’t have a degree in dentistry. The average person or patient doesn’t even know the meaning of “prophy” or a “crown”. Too often, dentists confuse and bewilder their patients while explaining detailed treatment plans using dental terminology. Remember this, you want to inform them of what’s available in dentistry, but not confuse them. You need to describe conditions and explain treatment in a language your patients can understand.
Failing to discover the patient’s wants. If your new patient’s primary concern is with the broken filling in number 8, you had better address tooth number 8 first. Tooth number 8 should become your primary concern for the patient. Only after you’ve addressed the patient’s primary concern should you proceed with your other findings and recommendations. A good way of discovering your patient’s primary concern is to just ask, How may I help you today? or What areas of your mouth are you most concerned with? Knowing what’s important to your patient before making your recommendations will definitely increase your case acceptance rate.
Talking too much. Dentists often talk too much about themselves, their practice or their services. They lecture patients, rather than hold a normal conversation. The key to connecting is through conversation, and the secret of conversation is asking questions, letting the other person talk and listening to their answers. Learn to say less and listen more.
NOT Building Relationships or Rapport. Your patients don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Don’t focus on restorations. Focus on building and creating relationships. Patients want relationships with their health care providers and people like doing business with the people they have relationships with. Relationships plus rapport equals great case acceptance.
Remember, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it and the way you say it. Avoiding these common pitfalls and mistakes will help guarantee that each and every case presentation you make is a great one.