By Jeff Smelser, an independent blogging outreach specialist for dentists.
It happens all the time. A new patient presents to your office with yellowing teeth, confused because he or she brushes daily, doesn’t smoke, and doesn’t drink coffee. Unfortunately, what they’ve learned is that keeping their teeth white is not as simple as that – maintaining a perfectly white set of teeth takes more than daily maintenance. This issue has brought this new patient into your office, and you now have an opportunity to develop a long-term relationship with them.
Building Trust – Have a Personable Chat with your Patient
It’s important that a patient knows and trusts the person who is going to be conducting procedures in his or her mouth. If the patient hasn’t been great about going to the dentist in the past, then it may be because they are under the false impression that treatment plans are developed to make as much money as possible – this is your opportunity to dispel this myth for them. Try to get the patient to have trust in you, so that they know that you aren’t simply selling them expensive packages to make a buck. Make your patient understand that they are more than just a credit card. Have a chat – share a funny story that isn’t dentistry-related, and ask them about their hobbies. Make them feel welcome in your chair.
You will then find some common ground for when you discuss options for their teeth whitening. Remember, whether or not they decide to whiten in your office, the long-term relationship is what you’re after. Any tooth whitening procedure will be temporary without regular checkups, so let them understand that there is no one-off magic bullet. It takes maintenance.
Discuss At-Home Remedies as an Option
Most patients are coming to you because they want their teeth whitened as quickly as possible, but there are a lot of homemade options that have varying results. It’s likely that the patient has already done some searches on the internet for getting their teeth white by themselves, and may have already researched the cost of teeth whitening and tried one or two of them. Talk about some of these options as well as their benefits. Your ultimate goal is to get a long-term patient out of this visit, so even if they opt for a home treatment, let them know that future regular visits are going to be the best way to maintain whatever solution they choose. This discussion will also lend trust to the new relationship you are fostering with your patient, since they will have do-it-yourself options to consider.
About the Author
Jeff Smelser is a Blogger Outreach Specialist, writing a variety of informational blogs focusing on dentistry.