When your patient comes to your practice, it is important that you understand why they are there. What are they looking for? What is their why? Are they looking for crowns or do they want peace of mind that their tooth won’t break while on vacation. Are they looking for scaling and root planing, or do they want to ensure that their teeth won’t get long or loose. Do they want veneers or teeth whitening, or is it that they want self-confidence. Once you know your patient’s why, you can ask better questions to provide solutions to their problems.
The best way to find your patient’s why is to ask open-ended questions. Questions like what is your immediate concern? Why is that of concern? Which side do you want to start first? Would you like to schedule this week or next week? Notice, none of these questions could be answered with yes or no. Each question would require the patient to give details of what they want and why.
One of the most common questions that I like to ask is what is your resistance? I ask this when patients say that they don’t want braces, or they don’t want to do a root canal. When you ask this simple question, people tell you their real story. Perhaps their spouse lost a tooth because they had a root canal and did not do the crown. If they share that story, you can explain the real reason why they lost the tooth. Perhaps they fear braces because of the look of the metal, not knowing that ceramic brackets are an option. Perhaps, their child is getting married next month, and their resources are tied up with funding the event. Perhaps they are moving in 2 months, and they don’t realize you can complete their crowns in plenty of time before they leave. Once you know your patients’ resistances, you can speak to that and answer their questions. Once people have clarity, they can make a decision to move forward and accept your recommended treatment.