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Effective communication with every dental patient

Jan. 26, 2024
You don’t have to practice very long to encounter “difficult” patients. Whether they are anxious, unsure, challenging, or confused, here are some tips you can use to meet them where they are.

Every dental patient is unique. Knowing how to meet patients where they are and communicate effectively is the difference between struggling through situations fraught with angst and smoothly obtaining successful clinical outcomes with full patient buy-in.

It may seem impossible to reach patients who are anxious, unsure, challenging, or confused, but with a few tools and insight, dental professionals can better understand the patient psyche and communicate with the patient on an individual level.

Here are some tips from your colleagues to help you meet your patients where they are and help them understand that you’re there to give them the very best dental care.

Why is your patient acting like that?

Some patients may refuse to sit still or raise their voices. But what about patients who are verbally abusive, aggressive, or even violent?

Understanding psychological schemas and how they impact the dental appointment

What are personality disorders and how do they manifest?

Patients with personality disorders don’t realize that their behavior is inappropriate or understand how their behavior affects others. Here’s what you need to know.

Red flags: What to look for and how to handle patients with maladaptive disorders

Can you reason with an unreasonable patient?

You may not be able to control your patient’s behavior, but you can control your own. How you respond to your patient makes a huge difference.

Using effective reasoning to achieve positive outcomes

Is your patient dentophobic?

Some patients are afraid of the dental office and everything that entails. But instead of being anxious when you see one of your anxious patients on the schedule, here are some tips you can use to show greater empathy and communicate well.

Tips to help patients overcome their fears

Do you offer “dental therapy”?

Hard times require soft skills. Do your patients look forward to seeing you? Here are some ways to cultivate your soft skills to ensure you’re providing a welcoming environment for your patients.

Going back to the basics of dental care

Does your patient understand YOU?

If you’ve been practicing for even just a short time, you’ve likely encountered patients who resist your treatment recommendations. Step back a moment: Does your patient really understand what you’re saying? How can you be more effective in communicating with your patient?

Meeting objections with solutions


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