Post-COVID communication has caused a paradigm shift in the ways we speak to patients. Their wants, needs, and reservations about dental procedures have changed, and it’s essential to stay up to date on current values.
As clinicians, we sometimes forget the importance of also viewing our patients as consumers. What, exactly, can we do to elevate their experience while providing them with exceptional dental care?
A patient’s experience begins with the first phone call from your staff. Do not overlook this, as it sets the tone for their in-person expectations. Upon their arrival in-office, they’ve already brought preconceived notions (and sometimes anxieties) with them. Visuals, sounds, and even smells can trigger positive or negative reactions which contribute to their overall experience (and impression of you).
The good news is that a simple reflection on current methods can elicit the changes you may be seeking. In a recent webinar, GLO Science co-founder Dr. Jonathan Levine states, “Dentistry is a platform for innovation.” How will you redefine and reinvent your practice in the current climate? Here are a few key areas to consider:
The Evaluation: Don’t underestimate the initial consult. Valuable information is gained when patients express oral care concerns, particularly when it comes to their smiles. Are they satisfied with their natural tooth color or they notice significant yellow stains on their teeth? Are they looking for the best professional whitening for sensitive teeth or or curious how to whiten teeth with braces? Whatever answers they're seeking, be prepared to truly validate their concerns before offering suggestions. Dr. Levine suggests 80% listening, 20% talking when consulting with a patient. This allows them to feel a sense of ownership over the conversation while providing you with ample information on which to base recommendations.
It’s also an ideal time to offer GLO’s Motivational Shade Taking. Using a visual guide helps patients envision how beautiful a smile can become, and people love seeing the results of whitened teeth before and after treatments. Ask what shade they think they’re currently at and what shade they’d like to achieve. Teeth whitening continues to be one of the most requested dental procedures, and we believe that no matter what, every patient has the potential to be a whitening candidate, so why not take the opportunity to introduce motivational shade taking during a routine check-up? Plus, people who whiten their teeth tend to be better patients all around, so that’s a win for both clinician and patient. More tips, training, and videos to help with shade-taking can be found on our website.
Quality over Quantity: When shopping for a new dental practice, patients are looking for up-to-date technology and innovative methods. Take stock of the products you suggest and offer. Are they in line with current advances in dentistry? Do you and your staff use these products personally and are you able to attest to their efficiency? If not, it may be time to rethink your recommendations.
GLO Science Pro Chairside Whitening, Take- Home Kit, and ECO Balance are revolutionary products in the oral care and whitening industry. With little-to-no sensitivity, no messy teeth whitening trays, and no time consuming tooth molds, we’re changing the way people view teeth whitening. Offering these treatments provides access to the very best on the market, ensuring happy, satisfied patients who are more likely to return for future visits and refer you to family and friends.
Esthetic Dentistry: No matter the reason for a visit, if you ask patients to tell you what they want, they’re likely to mention an esthetic change. We humans by nature are visual creatures and we like to look our best! And that starts with a great smile. Promoting esthetic enhancements, including whitening, is a way to get patients excited about dentistry and the possibility of an improved smile while also increasing your case acceptance.
The bottom line is that patient-centered dentistry needs to remain our focus if we want dentistry to thrive. Happier patients increase profit, but most importantly, they boost positivity in the dental profession and your practice, which in turn will motivate your practice team. And Dr. Levine believes that when patients and the practice team are happy and motivated, everything else falls into place. We couldn’t agree more.
Sources: Henry Schein Dental Academy Series Webinar Transcript, Dr. Jonathan Levine: Delivering Wow. How to Create Stunning Visuals that Power Cosmetic Case Acceptance4 ways to improve patient experience in your dental practice | DentistryIQ