Dentaltown June 2019 - 74

because I offered them several, they felt
more comfortable with me and choose me
to perform their dentistry. If you have a
problem formulating treatment plans or
providing options, continuing education
focused on comprehensive dentistry and
treatment planning would be an excellent
place to start your education.
The second part of "presenting options"
follows the adage "don't judge a book by its
cover." Never assume what a patient wants,
or that they want the cheapest option. I like
to call this "Freedom in Presentation." Allow
yourself the freedom to present the moon
and stars to the patient and allow the patient
the freedom to choose the option that's best
for him or her without prejudice. I always
say the best option is the one that is right
for the patient, and who gets to determine
that? The patient.
This will lead into our next topic: How do
we know what the patient truly wants? Ask
great questions to understand their values
and desires. This will allow you to form
a treatment plan with alternatives
to their values.

Patient
acceptance
This one topic
always has mystique
surrounding it, with lectures, articles
and countless training seminars
dedicated to it. It's like the Holy
Grail of dentistry. I'm here to tell
you that, yes, case acceptance is
crucial, and there can be certain
nuances that affect the patient
more than others; however, it isn't
as difficult to find as the lost city
of Atlantis. I believe there are two
or three crucial areas that will
have your patients saying "yes"
more often than "no." Here are
the top two.
Case acceptance starts with
being knowledgeable about the patient's

74

JUNE 2019 // dentaltown.com

condition(s) and the options for treatment.
This is why your education level and your
ability to present options precede this topic:
These factors increase your confidence
in how you talk to patients and present
their care. In my opinion, your confidence
alone will have the single greatest result
on your case acceptance percentage than
anything else. With knowledge comes a
level of confidence, and with experience
this confidence will grow.
Second is your ability to ask questions
and understand your patient's "why"-why
are they there? why do they want the treatment?-and your ability to communicate
why they need the treatment. Questions
lead the way.
For example, a common interaction
that occurs in my office surrounds the cost
of treatment. When I present a fee, I often
hear the response from the patient being,
"I didn't expect it would cost that much."
Now, you can respond and justify your
reasons why treatment costs are what they
are, but I've found it to be more effective
to respond with a question. Politely and
nonconfrontationally, I ask, "May I ask what
cost you had in mind?" Very commonly,
they respond, "I have no idea," to which I
reply, "Well, there must have been a figure
you had in mind, if my cost is expensive."
Quite often their response is, "I really
had no idea," to which I jokingly add,
"Maybe my treatment is too cheap!" All
through the interaction, I continue to ask
the patient additional questions to better
understand them. (A great book on this
topic is Change Your Questions, Change Your
Life by Marilee Adams.)
Once the ice is broken to how much
your treatment costs, regardless if it's a single
crown or a full-mouth reconstruction, a great
question to ask next is: "If we can find a way
to fit this treatment cost into your budget,
is this treatment something you would like
to complete?" This is a yes-or-no answer.
* If the patient says yes, then it's up to
you-or, more likely, your treatment


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Dentaltown June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown June 2019

Dentaltown June 2019 - Intro
Dentaltown June 2019 - Cover1
Dentaltown June 2019 - Cover2
Dentaltown June 2019 - 1
Dentaltown June 2019 - 2
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