Dental Talent – 4 Tips to Communicate Better With Your Patients as a Dentist
While a majority of the discipline of dentistry relies on hard-learned science and the practice of difficult techniques, sometimes there is not enough preparation when it comes to communicating with patients. Whether you are trying to convince them to invest in a more expensive but better procedure, or about to hand them a difficult truth about their health, it is definitely never easy.
Without communication skills, even the most skilled and most intelligent dentist might not have the charisma or communication skills to properly convey their message. However, the wonderful thing about this is that communication is a skill, and like any other skill, it can be developed.
In this article, we will discuss how you can more effectively educate a patient about their condition, and how you can help them make better decisions about their dental health. Here are some of these tips and tricks:
1. Think of yourself as a salesman
We understand that sales was probably the last thing on your mind when you set out to become a dentist. However, sales techniques are applicable and outright necessary to the dental industry. What sets you apart from other salespeople is that you are not selling a product but a lifestyle.
You are selling health, comfort, treatment, and therapy. You have the authority of a health professional as a bonus to your sales pitch, and that is a powerful weapon in your arsenal when combined with sales techniques.
2. Give it to them straight
One of the benefits of being in the dental industry is that the selling point of dental services, at the end of the day, is not suffering through painful consequences. Your patients know that they are likely to suffer from great pain or constant discomfort if they do not invest in the treatments and therapies.
As such, it is important to give it to your patients straight. Tell them what disease or condition they have and what will happen should such conditions go untreated. Do not sugarcoat, but do not exaggerate.
3. Use plain and understandable language, but do not dumb it down
With all the technical knowledge a dentist has, it might be difficult to simplify the words enough for your patient to understand, but it is paramount. Try to use words your patient would use to describe it themselves, but also take the time to explain the complexities of their treatment to them.
It might also help to use visual aids, such as diagrams and sculptures, for more visual learners. Plenty of videos are on the internet for just this purpose. After all, the more your patients understand their condition, the better decisions they are likely to make about it.
4. Remember that you are the expert
Communication can be intimidating, but the “dentist” title should remind you of the confidence and certainty with which you should approach communication with your patients. The more confidence you hold yourself with, the more likely your patient is to trust you with their treatment.
Try to look at yourself in the mirror and pretend you are describing a patient’s condition to them. Would you trust what you see in the mirror if that were your dentist? Basic techniques, like straightening your posture and practising your gestures, could give you that authoritative confidence that patients adore.
The relationship between dentist and patient can be complicated, but with these tips, you can effectively master communication in the setting of a dentist’s office. Hearkening back to your expertise and understanding the gap in understanding that your patient might have will help them make that better choice for their health and help you make that meaningful living.
If you’re looking for a private dental job anywhere in the UK, send us a message at Dental Talent. We have a great platform to link you to the best professional opportunities you could possibly get.