Speak to the moment

Present the need for treatment in 3 different situations in 3 distinct ways to be more relevant and effective.

When time is limited do a Generic Alert

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 do this very fast.

In a control appointment you have time to present simple treatments     

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.

Comprehensive Plan

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. Some dentists charge this appointment (which I think they should), some others don’t. But if you choose not to charge it please make sure you still have the time to dedicate to it. It will pay off.

So don’t forget… whenever you need to present a plan, small or big, for the first time to a patient, you have to adjust the time frame that you have to communicate effectively to the person in front of you!

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