It’s more about the impression that you leave them with than any clinical impression you may take.
The average patient knows nothing about dental technology, even if it is explained to them. No doubt they are probably pleased to know that digital radiography, for example, has really improved the safety factor when x-rays are required, which may cause them to think about it for a moment or two and then not give it a second thought.
Much of this is not all that vital to the average patient, and sad to say, they really don’t care; as we see almost daily when we work to educate our patients. The constant seems to be how they feel while they are in your practice, after treatment, whether you and the team show them care and attention, and of course perhaps what others say about their smile. And this is basically it!
They have no idea about symmetry, shades, esthetics, recession and contours; but what they do know is how they feel and how their smile looks to them. So if it is pleasing to their eyes and they have no pain, all is well in their world. Oh, except for perhaps the patient that felt the shade should be a bit whiter, kind of like a “Chicklet”, but ultimately agreed with you and your team in the end, seeing the natural looking result when you held up the mirror. My educated guess might be that it was one or more well-spoken, devoted team members that very cautiously and kindly pointed this out. It’s those special team members that tend to create a wonderful rapport with our patients, don’t they?
Patients can easily see that you are there to help them when they require it, and that you support them if they need some additional assistance. Take the patient that needed an emergency root canal or the time that their son got hit in the mouth during a basketball tournament. These are things they know. They are totally lost though when it comes to asepsis, OSHA Compliance, HIPPA Compliance, the newest advances in Dental Technology, and what it means when their doctor has DMD MDS MAGD FADI FAACD FACE at the end of his/her name, although it does appear impressive to some patients.
Here are some of the things that they DO know for sure: If they are respected and treated well, the practice environment is neat and orderly, the magazines are current and in good taste, they are taken on time for their appointments, the fees are fair and their questions are answered to their satisfaction, and of course if an emergency arises that they are accommodated quickly.
But the very most important thing that all patients look for is the type of environment created by the positive energy and mutual respect that they observe and experience when they visit your practice. They would expect that the kindness would go directly to them, their families and all the other patients that walk through your door.
But what about the interaction between the individual team member(s) and the doctor(s)? What they are evaluating is critical to their ongoing patient loyalty and why they are so happy to spend time with you in your practice. For them, seeing that the team works harmoniously together and are clearly sharing responsibilities openly and willingly is a memorable message and one that puts them at ease, adding to the “trust” factor. This will carry over in many ways and are forever imbedded in their memory. This message is a valuable one and will be spread to their family and friends when asked “who do you recommend for dental care”?
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