A great way to find out what your patients needs or wants are about dentistry is to simply ask. We may get caught up and convince ourselves that we know what our patients want but the only way to really know what is most important to them is to ASK.

You want to protect and enhance your patients’ health, it’s your top priority but your goals for their mouth may be different than their goals.

Each patient’s goals are unique. Some simply want to get out of pain. Others are focused on prevention and what about their emotional needs? Others are focused on achieving a perfect looking smile, and those on the forefront of health are turning their attention to how oral health plays into the bigger “whole health” picture.

Without understanding the patient’s past, present, and desired future, a treatment plan that doesn’t meet their needs and wants is all too likely.

Learn to understand your patient’s needs…Your responsibility is to find out what a patient really wants and to help guide them in making informed choices about their mouth.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

Improving your communication skills starts with listening. Of course, being the best listener will get you nowhere if you do not know how to ask the right questions. Here are some examples of questions you can ask:

  • What are the goals for your treatment?
  • Is there anything you would like to improve with your smile?
  • How can we work together to improve your overall dental health?
  • Are there any ways I can improve your dental experience?
  • What is your top concern regarding your mouth?

When you ask a question, pay attention to the answer, really listen before you respond and allow your patient’s answer to guide you as you develop their treatment plan.

Your patients will look at you in a different light when you show that you care about how they feel. Your practice will take on a new level of patient commitment…Ask and you shall receive.

– Michelle Podulsky posted September 21, 2015