top of page

You've Got It Backwards!

What you've always believed is dead wrong.

Case acceptance requires that patients really understand you. Without deep understanding, they'll let you take care of their chief complaint but not much else.

Less is more.

Dentists often believe that the more they explain, the more words that they use, the better patients will understand them. This is dead wrong. The reality is that the less words you use. the better patients understand you. That assumes, of course that you're using the right words. That's what precision communication is all about.

What patients want and need to know.

Unless patients ask for more information, limit explanations to only what they want and need to know. Typically, they want to know four things:

  • Will it hurt?

  • Why do I need it?

  • What's the short version of what you'll be doing?

  • What will it cost?

That's all. Saying one word more than this creates confusion, not understanding.

Less is more!


Root canal;

"Mary, the only way to prevent a toothache or infection is by doing a root canal. I won't let it hurt you at all. I'll be cleaning everything bad out of the tooth, anything that could cause pain or infection. Then I'll seal the root to lock out the infection. Do you have any questions?"


"John, we're doing this crown to keep the tooth from breaking. The work won't hurt at all. I'll be shaping the tooth, taking an imprint and making you a nice temporary crown to keep the tooth looking and feeling ok until the crown comes back from the lab. Do you have any questions?"

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


bottom of page