Despite our efforts to improve their lives, most patients aren’t too thrilled about coming into a dental practice. For most folks, it’s not exactly a fun time to get your gums poked by sharp tools. Getting a filling can scare some patients, too, especially when they see that novocaine shot coming their way. And the more high-ticket, complex procedures can be extra scary. Like giving a patient an implant or extracting their wisdom teeth. The idea of going under, or having any sort of surgery, can certainly be frightening for anybody.
Even if a patient is just coming into the practice for something simple—like getting a teeth whitening or a cleaning—it’s important to give the patient detailed instructions. Typically, they don’t know much about what steps they’re meant to take post-procedure. And as their healthcare provider, it’s your duty to inform them. That way, you can be sure they avoid any pain, infection, or whatever else might go wrong once they undergo the treatment they deserve.
So, if you’re interested in what steps you can take to ensure satisfaction after they get treatment, then read on.
1. Make a plan.
Every post-treatment plan is going to be different. With a teeth whitening, for example, the instructions you give will likely be along the lines of avoiding drinks that might stain the teeth—like red wine. With something more significant like pulling teeth, the post-treatment plan will be more along the lines of avoiding any chewing. So, you’d probably tell a patient who just had their teeth pulled about sticking to frappes for a little while.
Regardless, post-treatment satisfaction begins pre-treatment. If you want to ensure satisfaction post-procedure, you’re going to need to know what to tell the patient once you’re finished with their teeth. You need to have a plan, going in, and make sure your team is on board with that plan. That way, you won’t leave a team member stuttering when the patient asks them what course of action to take about their fixed teeth.
2. Get training with repetition.
Consistent, high-quality production puts everyone at ease. And that’s not going to happen without the proper training to put the right systems and processes in place. Practice might not make perfect, but practice definitely does make progress. That’s why it’s essential for team members to not only get training but to repeatedly train and hone their skills until they can perform to their full potential.
When your team is performing to its full potential, there’s an array of benefits. The procedures will get done faster, making it easier for your patients to fit treatment into their day. There will be fewer mistakes when performing any given procedure, and that’ll mean fewer possible lawsuits for malpractice. We’re dental professionals; we want to change lives, not get sued over failing to do so. Knowing what we’re doing after spending hours doing something like CE courses will mean we can craft a perfect crown, bridge, or whatever else we need to do. When a patient looks in the mirror and sees the smile they want, they’ll be beaming.
3. Utilize resources.
Dental Hub 360’s website has tons of resources for you to sift through in order to help your practice take off. We have documents ranging from letters to other doctors to after-care instructions that teach a patient how to take care of themselves. You’re welcome to check those out! If you’re interested, they’re waiting for you right here.
Don’t forget to utilize your own resources, too. You have a phone, most likely. And you pay your front office staff for a reason. Give your patients an index card with the number of your practice, email, etc. and tell them to contact you whenever. Or, even better, you call them. Give them a reminder about the instructions you initially gave them.
Keep your patients happy!
Being a dental professional is all about providing quality healthcare. And we can’t do that if our patients aren’t happy with it. Whether they’re looking for a crafty fix to their teeth or just informative instructions about what they’re meant to do after an operation, it’s up to you to make them as happy as they deserve. So, keep your patients happy by following these three, simple steps!
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