Have you always driven your orthodontic practice by telling your patients what they need rather than discussing their options with them? Well, if you nodded in the affirmative, you are not alone! Most dental practises are busy places and dentists take charge and tell patients what they need and how they will go about the said treatment.
This holds even for orthodontic practises where the orthodontist evaluates the patient and charts out a treatment plan for them. Most orthodontists, however, do ask their patients ‘Why’ they want to get braces treatment or ‘what kind of braces’ they wish to wear. But, is that enough? Not really!
Why is it Important to Engage Orthodontic Patients Before Treatment?
Any type of dental treatment can make the strongest people nervous and anxious. Even the thought of getting dental treatment, even braces, can bring you face-to-face with resistance from the patient. This is the primary reason why most orthodontists struggle to bring their patients onboard for braces treatment. To improve patient conversion, you must improve patient compliance. This can only happen if you can have a comfortable conversation with your patients about their condition and the treatment options they have.
Here are some reasons why engaging with your orthodontic patients before treatment is advantageous for you:
- Puts your patients at ease
Engaging with your patients rather than instructing them or directly advising them immediately puts them at ease. This makes them more receptive to what you have to say and they are more likely to be compliant during their orthodontic treatment.
- Calm your patient’s nerves
A visit to any dentist can be nerve-wracking. Even in your orthodontic practice, a patient often walks in with a lot of queries and doubts. Speaking with them like a friend allows them to calm down. A nervous patient is more likely to refuse treatment
- Listen to them more while you give them dental advice
It is just as important to listen to your patient while giving them dental advice or speaking to them about their treatment. Listening to them allows you to gauge a lot about the patient’s motivation, family background, why they came to you for braces, and a lot more. All of this information allows you to devise the best possible plan for your patient’s orthodontic treatment plan.
- Motivates them to get treatment
When patients feel heard, they are more likely to listen to their doctors. As an orthodontist, you must motivate your patients to get treatment by showing them the positives, the end goal or the final result and how easy the journey to get there is. A motivated patient converts easily and is also more compliant during the treatment procedure.
Tips for Discussing Orthodontic Treatment with Patients
Here are some useful tips for you to discuss orthodontic treatment with your patients:
- Allow your patients to take the lead in the conversation
The best advice given is what is asked. When you allow your patient to take the lead in the conversation, you are more likely going to be asked for advice before you force one of your patients. This makes them more receptive to what you have to say.
- Keep the conversation two-way
Always have a two-way conversation street with your patient. This helps create a bond of trust between you and your patient. Many doctors underestimate this trust in the success of their patient treatments.
- Give examples
A good way to convince your patients for treatment is by citing examples. For example, if you need to convince a 23-year old female patient to get clear aligners, give examples of your past cases where you have successfully treated a patient of the same age using invisible braces. Back up your examples with real case pictures from your records. This further instils confidence in your patient to go ahead with their braces treatment.
- Allow them to see the final result
With advanced technology like 3D scanning and treatment planning software, you can give your patients a sneak peek into how their final result may look like. This is a great motivating factor for them and they are more likely to accept the treatment and go ahead with it.
- Keep time for each patient
It is very common to hear patients say ‘I don’t have time’ to take care of my teeth or visit the dentist twice a year. Instead of preaching to your patients about how they must have time for dental hygiene and oral health, ask them how much time they have. For example, asking them this question during your treatment plan discussion is a good way to gauge what type of braces will suit your patient more. If your patient says things like they are busy or don’t have time to brush their teeth, you can tell them to opt for clear aligners.
- Talk about ‘what is in it for them’
As an orthodontist, all you want to do is to give your patients the best oral health. However, what you see as a clinician is not what your patient sees. While discussing their orthodontic treatment plan, always talk to them about ‘what is in it for you’. When your patients can visualise the benefits they get from the treatment, they are more likely to sign up for them!
- Clear Aligner cost discussion
Most patients who visit you will have a query about how expensive their clear aligner treatment will cost. If your patient is keen on clear aligner treatment, offer them attractive EMI or easy-pay options to make the treatment more affordable for them. Always give your patient an estimate of clear aligner treatment. For example, if the cost of clear aligner treatment is INR 45,000, offer your patients a discount or an EMI of INR 4999/-!
Do you feel more confident speaking with your patients in your orthodontic practice? Use these handy tips to spread more electrifying smiles just like 32 Watts! Have a patient who needs clear aligner treatment? Connect with us and we can get their treatment to begin within 5 days of your first appointment!