How to Make Sure Your Patients Understand the Importance of Regular Dental Appointments

8/3/2018 12:30:47 PM   |   Comments: 1   |   Views: 29
Are your patients no shows for their dental cleaning appointments? Or taking a year between visits? Perhaps they think it is no big deal to miss these appointments. You may be wondering how to make sure your patients understand the importance of regular dental visits and what are strategies you can use to improve the chance of that happening. Patients who are knowledgeable and have good education regarding their oral health are more likely to maintain a good schedule. Dr. Glen Marsack and staff at Crescent Lake Dental in Waterford, MI understand that getting patients to take their regular check-ups seriously is a team effort involving dentist, front staff, hygienist, and patients.

Not just the how but the why – It is important for the hygienist to have an open dialogue with the patient, imparting information about not just the how and what, but the why of what they’re doing. This can include a brief explanation of what goes into an oral cancer screening, a radiological exam, or a dental exam.

Having a positive attitude during these visits can also make them more likely to return in the future. This can be done with positive reinforcement if you have noticed an improvement from their last appointment. It is also important to offer a recall appointment right after their cleaning when the information is fresh in the patient's mind.

Their role in maintaining good oral health – Do your patients understand their role in maintaining good oral health? Maybe they read or heard a report that flossing is no longer necessary. Make sure your patients understand the importance of nutrition and oral health, as well as the relationship between oral health and general health. Explaining the connection between oral and general health could be an important aspect in the patient not only continuing strong at-home oral care but also being more diligent in maintaining their dental cleaning appointments. You need to emphasize the value of these appointments and how they will actually benefit the patient in the long term.

Knowledge is power – Are you and your staff knowledgeable about current products in case a patient asks, or able to make recommendations if that ever comes up during a session? When patients understand the basics of oral health and their role in it, they can feel more involved in the process and not like they are just receiving information. They can better understand regular appointments are something that can benefit them and that may make them more likely to ask questions. It can be easier for them to understand why certain treatment options are recommended, such as a dental filling for a cavity that has occurred since their last appointment. This can open a door for future recommendations on treatments that your office offers as well as present them in a positive light, such as Composite Fillings, Porcelain Crowns and Teeth Whitening.

Good habits are built with an initial first step. It is a group effort needed to maintain the oral health of your patients, and it starts today with you. When patients feel informed and in control, it can make them a more active participant in their oral health, and more regular patient in your office.
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