Dental IQ

Getting a patient to clearly understand the treatments they need can be a little difficult – especially if they can’t feel that anything is wrong in their mouth. If a patient presents without pain, overt plaque build-up, bleeding gums or sensitivity, it can be hard to convince them that they need costly work to be done. The key to treatment case acceptance in such cases is to raise their dental IQ. There are three main areas that need targeting for this approach to work.

Zuub can be a powerful tool in helping you create these priorities and options with your patients. It allows a patient to see exactly how much the entire treatment plan will cost, taking into account what their insurer will cover and what they will have to pay themselves.

1- Take pictures

It’s hard to argue with pictures – especially large ones blown-up to show the patient exactly what needs to be targeted. Intraoral pictures are powerful tools in a dentist’s arsenal and should be used with every new patient and all recare patients with outstanding treatment plans. Although a patient might not feel a cracked tooth, they will be hard-pressed to argue that a fractured tooth doesn’t need fixing when they see the split clearly visible in a photo. Pictures allows hygienists and dentists to review treatments with patients on a monitor where they can enlarge areas that need to be addressed. Photos are also a good way to show progress – before and after pictures are terrific for getting patients excited about what their own results will be once treatment is completed.

2- Repetition is important!

One of the key ways to guarantee your patient remembers their treatment case plan is to repeat it as many times as possible before they leave your office. So, you want your hygienist to go over the plan before you even enter the room. By doing this, when you come in and talk about the plan, your patient will be hearing about it for the second time. Go over the plan quickly without the pictures. Next, introduce the pictures and say something to the effect of, “I can show you on these pictures what I saw and what we would like to propose as a treatment for you.” That would take the number of times your patient hears the plan to three. Repeat the process if needed and allow your patient to ask as many questions as they want. Your goal is to repeat the plan as many times as possible so that your patient doesn’t forget it.

According to research, repetition or the “rule of 7” is what is needed for people to retain all details of information in its transfer from one person to the other. By reinforcing the treatment plan, your patient is more likely to retain key details and go through with it.

3- Options and priorities

One of the best ways to get treatment case plans accepted is to prioritize treatments with your patients. Clearly outline the most urgent requirement down to the cosmetic or nice-to-have treatments. Patients need to understand when a treatment is urgent vs if it is important. Urgent matters need to be dealt with immediately while important ones should be addressed in the near future.

Our treatment planning software can be a powerful tool in helping you create these priorities and options with your patients. It easily integrates with all top dental patient management softwares including Dentrix, Eaglesoft and Open Dental and ​it allows a patient to see exactly how much the entire treatment plan will cost, taking into account what their dental insurance will cover and what they will have to pay themselves. If it is not a sum they can handle, then based on what you prioritize for them they can choose that treatment first and save the other options for a later date and see immediately how much it would cost now and later. Our software allows your patient to fully comprehend what their treatment plan entails along with the associated costs. It also has integrations with third party financing options making it even easier for patients who need assistance to get the financial aid they require to address their urgent dental needs. 

Zuub allows each patient to fully comprehend what their treatment plan entails along with the associated costs.  

By educating your patients on their true dental needs vs dental wants you will help them make more informed and better decisions where their oral health is concerned. And, by providing them with a software that can easily show their treatment case plan obligations and offer them options and the flexibility to remove treatments or save them for later, you will increase your case acceptance significantly. 

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