Oral Health Group
Feature

How to Communicate Treatment Plans to Patients

June 8, 2020
by Oral Health


There are many reasons for patients to deny treatment acceptance, ranging from cost, time or simply a lack of understanding. Over 50% of patients have said they would be more likely to agree to treatment if their dentist was able to explain or demonstrate the benefits of the treatment. It is your job, along with your team, to effectively educate your patients to ensure they fully grasp the treatment plan you have presented to them. Not only will this increase revenue for your practice, but it will make sure your patients are getting the best oral healthcare they can and need. Here are a few ways you and your team can communicate with patients:

In-office conversations and demonstrations: Being a dentist and practice owner can result in a very busy schedule. However, you must take the time to get to know each individual patient and be empathetic to their situations. The only way to do this is to have in-office conversations where you can listen to them and discuss the treatment options that best suit their needs. In fact, 65% of patients agree they would prefer to learn about new procedures from in-person conversations. This gives patients the opportunity to share their concerns and ask questions. You can also take this time to conduct in-office demonstrations so they can fully grasp the process of treatment, as many people are visual learners. Use before and after photos to help patients see the difference treatment can make.

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Office resources: Nearly 2/3 of patients admit they would be influenced to accept a treatment because of educational materials in the reception area. Display magazines and brochures in the reception area so you give patients the option to take their learning into their own hands. That way, patients can take in information at their own pace and feel more comfortable when discussing it with you or your team.

Blogs/articles: Having blogs and articles on your website is not only good for SEO purposes, it also gives patients another channel to learn more about the importance of their oral health. 40% of patients agree they would like to learn about new technologies and procedures from websites/articles. Like having brochures in the office, having informative articles on your website allows patients to process treatments on their own. In this case, they can even access it on their own terms and from their homes. Be sure to avoid unnecessary jargon and use language that patients will easily understand.

Social media: While social media may not be a priority for you, it can be an extremely useful tool since the majority of your patients are using it. In fact, when asked what they would want to see from their dentist on social media, 63% of patients said information about new technologies and procedures. Social media can be the perfect way to reach patients who are not as receptive in the office, such as teenagers and young adults. Social media is how we keep in touch with friends and get our news, so why not use it to educate your patients too?

Over 1/2 of patients say their comfort level with treatments is a factor in their treatment acceptance. Use these tools to ensure your patients fully understand the importance of treatment for their oral health and that they feel comfortable with the process.


As seen in the print issue of Oral Health June 2020

*In late October and early November, 2019, Bramm Research, a third-party independent research consulting firm, conducted an online survey on behalf of Oral Health. Based on a sample of 1,000, the margin of error is +/- 3.2%.

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