Use Words That Build Value

Why is it such a struggle at times to get dental patients to accept treatment recommendations?  Sometimes patients will not even schedule for something as straightforward as their cleaning.


While you cannot convince everyone, you can empower more patients to take care of their dental needs by using words that build value.  Unfortunately, dentists and their teams regularly undervalue the services they provide.  It is common to hear phrases such as “it’s just a cleaning” or “you just have a little decay.”

If it’s just a cleaning, why should patients take time out of their busy schedules to come see you?  What would motivate people to pay $1,000 for a crown when they just have a little decay?  Keep in mind that plenty of products and services compete for your patients’ discretionary funds.  These products and services usually do a good job of demonstrating some type of value, which is why you need to do the same.


Brainstorm with your team about how patients benefit from cleanings, treatment for gum disease, crowns, and other services you offer.  And then speak in terms of value when you make treatment or recall recommendations.

Also keep in mind the importance of eliminating qualifying language.  For example, it’s not a “quick look,” it’s an exam.  Instead of “it’s no big deal,” clearly discuss the treatment that will be received.  The use of qualifying language is typically an attempt to make patients feel more comfortable, but unfortunately the value of your service is lost in translation.  Instead, make patients feel comfortable with a friendly chair-side presence, genuine empathy, and niceties such as neck pillows and warm blankets.


By fine tuning your phraseology, you will motivate patients to value their dental health as much as you do.

Find out how our dental practice consulting can help you increase treatment acceptance.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.