It’s never a good idea to scare your dental patients. Well… most of the time. Sometimes, a patient’s oral health problem is so severe the only acceptable response to, “When would you like to schedule this procedure?” is “As soon as possible.” Here’s when to force your hand and start closing cases that show no signs of closing themselves.
If a tooth is so decayed the infection has gone to the root, you know what will happen next if they don’t get this problem taken care of. It’ll turn into a dental emergency and the chances of needing a tooth extraction will rise exponentially. But your patient doesn’t know that. They just know their pain is awful and the thought of the dreaded root canal that our culture has built up into the Big Bad Wolf is enough to make them talk themselves out of the procedure.
It’s your job to make the severity of their situation clear – a root canal might not be fun, of course, but is a tooth extraction and dental restoration better? It’s more time in the dentist’s chair, longer healing, a higher price tag. Tell your patients what they don’t know during case presentation and soon they’ll be yelling, “Root canal or bust!”
If you have a reluctant patient in your office who winces every few moments from the tooth pain they’re experiencing, everyone in the room knows they need treatment right away. However, some people will be reluctant to proceed with any work because they fear more pain – or hold out hope that the pain will subside on its own. Both misunderstandings must be made clear. Some patients need tough love and information that what they have going on is very bad and will not go away on its own without dental intervention.
Sometimes you’ll meet a person who has a high threshold for pain. They’re rare, and tooth pain is hard to ignore for just about everyone, but this might be your toughest sell. If the pain isn’t so bad, then why in heaven’s name would an invasive procedure be necessary? If that abscess is just a pesky thing that might pop, why can’t they just take care of it themselves? You need to answer these questions honestly and, sometimes, with serious, scary explanations so your patient knows how critical their oral health condition is.
No dentist wants to scare their patients or leave them with the impression that any form of oral health care is frightening, but sometimes it’s necessary to be firm when a patient is too stubborn or terrified to take care of their oral health. Problems with teeth and gums can develop into serious complications – you know this. Sometimes, you need to set aside a gentle demeanor and be stern about the consequences of not getting an acute oral health problem treated.
Do you and your team need support when it comes to closing cases? Rely on your DSO, Independence Dental, for the training and encouragement you need to make a change in your patients’ lives and the success of your dental office. Contact us to discuss what you need help with and the goals you have for your practice. Find out how we can help.