Now that we've talked about the importance of understanding and familiarizing your dental practice with the psychology of dental case acceptance, lets go one step further. Follow along to see how to utilize staff and how to handle a smaller case in dental case acceptance! 



The first 15 minutes of every hygiene visit should be dedicated to knowing your patient and updating all diagnostics.  As we know the hygienist is not allowed to make a diagnosis but we certainly can share our concerns.  Creating value and understanding comes not only from building a relationship but also educating the patient.  One way to create value is using co discovery with the patient. During that first 15 minutes while using the intra-oral camera or reviewing the x-Rays the hygienist can let the patient know of any areas of concern.

“Mrs. Peterson I’d want to show you this picture or X-Ray of your tooth on the upper left side. Do you see this large silver filling and how around the edges it appears to be broken? . I know the Dr. will be concerned about it as well, often times we will find decay around those margins."

Having the hygienist take an active role in co diagnosing possible treatment by uncovering concerns is an important part of the Doctor Hygiene Exam. The hygienist taking an active role in co diagnosing allows the doctor to not feel rushed and also allows time for the patient to ask questions and case acceptance significantly improves.

When the doctor comes in for the exam and after he/she has had a few minutes to visit with the patient, then the Dr. hygiene hand off, the hygienist should let the doctor know any changes in the medical history, what your findings and concerns are and include any periodontal concerns. Patients need to hear something seven times to truly understand and feel good about committing to treatment. Perfecting the hand-off process allows patients to hear “why” the diagnosis is important and creates time for them to commit to treatment.

When the patient is handed off to the front office, instead of asking “Mrs. Peterson would you like to schedule that crown on #14?” ask “Mrs. Peterson would Monday the 30th at 8:00 am work for you." Create a sense of urgency and minimize the chance of the patient leaving without scheduling. When something gets into your schedule there is a much higher likelihood that it will get done. An effective patient hand-off allows you to clarify the patient’s next step in treatment, as well as be informed of fees that have been quoted. Often important information is shared in the room with the patient and it isn’t passed on and confusion occurs immediately which creates distrust and leaves the patient with more questions than answers. This can result the treatment not being accepted.

 

 

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