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The Avalanche

A painful reality

Patients who get lost in an avalanche of words always say "no" to your treatment.

The solution

You need to help them see the big picture before giving explanations or details.

Case acceptance is essential both for your income and good patient care. Excellent case acceptance requires that you create an effective doctor/patient relationship and that you use precision communication skills in presenting treatment plans.

Your treatment presentation must create deep, gut-level understanding. To achieve this kind of understanding, you must help the patient grasp the big picture, the high-level overview of the plan before presenting details and explanations. Failure to do this creates confusion.

Four keys of a great, big picture presentation

Clusters/Not "laundry lists." Present treatment in clusters. Never use "laundry lists." Tooth-by-tooth, problem-by-problem lists are useless. Present a filling cluster, crown cluster, esthetics cluster, etc. Eg. "I suggest you do three crowns to protect the weakened teeth."

No premature explanations. Defer explanations and details until after the big picture portion of the presentation. Premature explanations kill big picture understanding.

No jargon. Never use dental jargon. It's insulting to the patient and creates confusion.

Recap. Briefly go through the clusters a second time. This repetition aids in comprehension and retention.

Which of your colleagues will be most grateful when you share this post?


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