Don’t Assume You Know What Treatment Your Patients Want

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With every case, there’s usually more than one treatment option for patients to consider. Unfortunately, dentists don’t always present all the options—which keeps case acceptance rates low and hurts their bottom line.

All too often, dentists assume they know what their patients want. They decide one treatment option is too expensive or isn’t something that fits into a patient’s lifestyle. So instead of detailing all the options, they only present what they think patients will accept.

This guessing game hurts both your patients and your practice. If patients don’t know all the options, it makes it difficult for them to make an informed decision about their oral health care. Dentists end up losing revenue because they assume the most expensive treatment is off the table when it actually could be the most attractive treatment to the patient. Patients not only opt not to go forward with treatment when this happens, they might even start looking for a dentist who offers more extensive care.

Instead of assuming you know what treatment patients want, take the time to find out. Ask them about their dental health goals. Educate them about the services you provide and find out what interests them most. Then you’ll know what treatment they’re most likely to accept, and can tailor your education and treatment plans to meet their goals.

Bottom line: Assuming you know what treatment patients want or can afford is a mistake. Patients find ways to pay for treatment they see value in, and if you offer third-party financing such as CareCredit, it makes it even easier for them to go forward with that treatment. Have your Treatment Coordinator go over all the various options. This will enable patients to determine what will work best for them and to receive the care they need.

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