Effective communication is the number one skill to completely transform your career, no matter what industry or role you are in.
The success of any communication is measured by how much the person that you are trying to communicate with understands what you are talking about.
Don't want to read the full article? You can watch the short video version below.
Successful communication when speaking with patients, is measured by the effective delivery of complex dental information. This needs to be done in a way in which the patient can understand their dental situation and effectively choose from the given treatment options and take up a plan which they feel is most appropriate for them.
The main roadblock is that most dentists use far too much technical language when presenting treatment plans to their patients. This is the “language” that we learned at university, full of complicated dental jargon. The problem is; it is so ingrained into our way of thinking that it requires a great deal of effort to break out of this habit, and explain things in easy to understand nuggets of information for the patient, rather than them nodding along, and being lost as soon as they walk out of the surgery.
Compounded to this we have different types of communication for example we have emotional and logical communication
If a patient comes in to see you and tells you that they have a missing molar tooth. They have done some online research and want a dental implant. The temptation would be to stop at this point and start discussing fees and arranging for them to be booked in. However, if you are able to step back and discover why they want this done, and understand the emotions or “pain points” attached to this, you can provide a much better treatment plan for your patient
Let's say this tooth has been missing for several years and the history behind it was that it had root canal treatment, post crown etc and still failed. The multiple visits and experience had led to the patient developing dental anxiety. This information would now tell us the patient is looking for the most robust treatment option and may be happy to go for a more premium treatment plan (E.g. including sedation), if it meant more peace of mind, fewer visits and long term success.
It would also open the patient to you spending more time to look at the whole mouth and find out about any teeth which have very large fillings or enamel cracks and figure out ways that maybe you could protect these teeth as well to avoid repeating the previous bad experiences.
Maybe the patient is now concerned that when he or she smiles or laughs a large gap is visible, this could suggest that the patient is more interested in the cosmetic appearance and function may be secondary.
This could open up the possibility of additional cosmetic treatments and maybe the missing tooth could be a blessing in disguise if we are considering braces to straighten up the front teeth.
In this situation what do you think the patient would be more happy with at the end of treatment? It is easy to fix a very logical problem, but if you think about the emotions behind this and spend a little more time talking to the patient, then chances are there is a bigger agenda behind the scenes.
When you understand what the patient truly wants your treatment plans will change and at the end of treatment your patient will also understand what they want. This will lead to fewer dissatisfied patients and greater morale your practice.
If you would like to find out more about how I fill my pipeline with high value cases, I recorded a webinar teaching you a great consultation process that I use to routinely get full mouth, comprehensive cases, you can watch it from the link below!
WEBINAR - How To Get A £25k Case Acceptance
If you would like to find out more about how I personally run my consultations then click the link below to check-out a full 1h15min audio recording of a consultation, which resulted in a £25k treatment plan case acceptance.
There is a deep dive in the psychology of the consultation, and structure that will let you get the same results.