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Tuesday Tip from Pride Institute: The expert is you, the dental professional

March 17, 2015
People expect an expert to know he or she is talking about. As the dentist and head of your practice, take the lead and guide patients with your expertise. They will appreciate your knowledge and follow your recommendations.
People have confidence in you and they count on you. You have a perspective they don’t have, and you can help them in ways they can’t help themselves. That’s true for me as a consultant, it’s true for our local firefighters, and it’s true for you in your roles in the dental office. Can you see things that the general public can’t see? Can you help them in ways that they can’t help themselves?
Of course you can, and that means that people are counting on you for answers and direction. You won’t be doing anyone any favors if you wait to figure out what people want to hear. If, as a consultant or coach, I began with “So, waddya wanna learn?” clients would look at me funny and probably not come back. They want me to lead them, just like your patients want you to lead them.

In a dental practice, you see things others can’t see. Sometimes it’s bad news for the patient, and you have to deliver that news along with a suggested course of correction. Treatment does have a cost, but so do a carton of eggs and a gallon of gas. Don’t pause when you offer your advice. People want to hear it and, big surprise – they already know there’s a price. You don’t protect them by not directing them.

Part II – talk in plain, easy-to-understand English and give your patients the “so what” of it all. Sure, you could offer scaling and root planing to save patients’ gums on their way to gaining the confidence a great smile brings. You could prescribe a PFM on No. 19 or tell a patient how great it will feel to bite down on anything from raspberries to steak without worrying about the pain of a tooth suddenly splitting.

The bottom line is, people want you to be the expert. That’s what they come to you for. Be the expert! But remember to use language that’s meaningful to them. Just be you when you talk to them, as if you were talking with a family member. Never be pompous. Offer guidance, and remember that plain language works.

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Tuesday Tips from Pride Institute are provided weekly on their Facebook page as well as in this column in DentistryIQ. To ensure you don’t miss any of Pride Institute’s proven methods to take your practice to the next level, visit, and like them on Facebook.