How to Connect Emotionally with Dental Patients by Dr. Charles Martin

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As a dentist, when is the best time to connect emotionally with your patient? The correct answer is at the beginning, middle, and end of a visit. It's easy to connect at the beginning of an appointment by asking questions about life and why the patient came to visit you. But you should also proactively communicate with your patient during and after treatment, then between visits.

These tips are appropriate for dentists across all geographical boundaries. They work for the specialist, as well as the general dentist. See how many you practice, and consider whether you're consistent. By creating an emotional bond with patients, you're more likely to retain them long term.

1.       Spend one minute asking about the patient's life

2.       If appropriate, comment on your life

3.       Make eye contact (longer with women than men)

4.       Tell the patient what you're going to do before you do it

5.       Tell the patient what to expect after treatment

6.       Focus on benefits of the procedure and advantages of treatment

7.       Be aware of the patient's body language and facial expressions during treatment

8.       Ask, "How are you doing?" during procedures, about every 10 minutes

9.       Give a status report on the procedure during the procedure

10.   Touch the patient gently on the shoulder for physical support

11.   Talk about new technology and dental advances during treatment, or remain silent if the patient is sedated

12.   The patient is paying you to be the expert, so show her that you are

13.   The patient chose YOU, so don't be too serious – show your personality

14.   Start a blog or newsletter, and keep in touch with patients between visits

15.   Maintain a consistent recall reminder program

By creating an emotional bond with patients, you're more likely to retain them long term. As a rule, retaining patients is more lucrative and satisfying than chasing new business!

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