Getting Your Patients to Say "Yes!" to Your Treatment Plan
Education seems to be the key to getting patients to say “yes” to treatment plans.
According to the ADA, patients do not say “yes” to dental treatment plans because they lack the dental education to see the importance of the treatment. Many patients simply do not know enough to see the value in the treatment plan that you are presenting. That’s good news! That means you should see a significant increase in patients agreeing to your treatment plans just by EDUCATING them.
An important distinction is to make sure you are selling a service, not a thing. Educate that patient on why you are recommending a crown and what not getting the crown could mean to that patient’s dental health. Show them before and after photos of similar procedures to increase their confidence of the end-result.
Tips to Educate your Patients:
Start in the waiting room!
Alongside magazines, add some educational dental material in your waiting area for patients to read. The more knowledge your patients have, the more easily they will see the value of your treatment plan. We have some suggestions here.
Make it a team effort
You shouldn’t be the only one trying to educate your patients. Make sure your staff understands the patient education focus you’re trying to implement. Give your staff resources to assist with educating themselves and your patients.
Don’t Just Say it, Show it
Don’t just rely on your words to get the patient to agree to a treatment plan. Show the patient what you are recommending by using diagrams, before/after photos and the patient’s x-rays. See our Dentist Library here.
Give Them Time to Think
Another positive reason for providing the patient with education material and diagrams is that they can take the material home and review it when they are able to concentrate a little better. We know that many patients are anxious in the dentist office and are ready to get out of there! Let them take the material home and review it when they can think clearly.
Go A Step Further!: Have one of your team members make a follow-up call to the patient to see if they have any questions regarding the material a few days after their appointment.
Get around the Financial Roadblock
Many patients may want treatment but may feel that they have to say no to your treatment plan for financial reasons. Give them some options! This doesn’t mean extending long-term in-house financing, but reach out to reputable healthcare financial partners that can offer payment options for your patients.
Patient education not only helps in treatment plan consent, but also improves the patient’s dental IQ. Be a resource for your patients.