Body Language and the Dental Patient Experience

How do you make the patient experience even better in your dental practice?  Make the extra effort to read each patient’s body language.


For example, it’s one thing to have blankets, pillows, and neck wraps, and it’s another to notice when patients may benefit from one of those niceties even though they did not initially ask for it.  It’s easy to get in your chair-side routine and not notice when patients are rubbing their hands together because they are cold or moving uncomfortably in the dental chair because they need a neck pillow.  By observing body language, you can respond to your patient’s needs and greatly enhance their overall experience.  Comfortable patients are more likely to accept dental treatment and refer their friends and family.

Another time to observe body language is when you are showing intra-oral photos or x-rays to your patients.  If patients seem uneasy looking at the images, it may be a sign of dental phobia.  By paying attention, you can then address potential concerns and help patients relax.  Helping patients deal with their fears opens the door for scheduling treatment.

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Finally, it’s important for dentists and teams to consider if patients seem confused about treatment recommendations.  This is an ideal time to invite questions, which not only enhances the patient experience but also increases the likelihood that patients will schedule for treatment.

Notice the pattern?  Helping patients feel comfortable goes hand-in-hand with building a productive schedule.  That’s why it’s worth the extra effort for dentists and teams to carefully read each patient’s body language.

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Learn more about how our dental practice consulting can help you fine-tune the patient experience and increase treatment acceptance.

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