Your interaction with patients can happen in several distinct situations. Sometimes you feel you need more time to be able to talk to the patient about some needed treatment. Other times you have plenty of time but you did not prepare anything to present to the patient and you end up forgetting something. Here I chose 3 very common scenarios and some ideas that can easily be applied.
When time is limited you can simply point some areas of concern. Ideally provide some brief report with some generic areas that need attention. This is very common in emergency appointments or when time is very limited and you want to alert the patient to other conditions to be looked at in a future appointment. You can this very fast.
If the treatments are simple and straightforward just diagnose, plan, create the report document and show it to the patient chairside. This is what happens in most cases where only few restorations, some periodontics, simple implants or basic prosthodontics are needed. It takes less than 5 minutes.
Book specific appointments for initial examination and plan presentation. Take your time doing a complete examination, x-rays, photographs and tell the patient you will do a comprehensive evaluation. Then explain the treatment plan, step by step. This is probably the best approach in cases of specialists or when you are dealing with extensive, complex treatments involving long periods such as several implant rehabilitations, bone regenerations, sinus lifts or full mouth rehabilitation in wear cases. These treatments can be costly and these patients usually demand more time and attention to details.
Good Treatment Planning!
Photo by SheffieldStar
Jorge Andre Cardoso
DMD, MClinDent Prosthodontics
Honorary Clinical Teacher - Kings College London, UK