Since we were kids, we have learned through show and tell, which engages our senses and motivates us to listen to what comes next. Unfortunately, the power of show and tell is sometimes forgotten when we reach adulthood.
I commonly witness this when I help dentists fine-tune their treatment presentation skills. What is often lost in the review of exam findings is the patient. A Chinese Proverb summarizes the problem and the solution: “Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand.”
How do you involve your patients when you discuss dental treatment? This is where the use of photos, models, and other visual aids is so important.
Remember that patients accept treatment recommendations when they understand the benefits—we buy benefits, not processes. And nothing helps patients understand the benefits better than showing them. Show your patients what concerns you. When patients can see cracks or decay or other issues, they are far more motivated to take action than with your words alone.
But remember that involving and engaging your patients requires more than just what you show them. How do you invite their questions? How do you address their concerns? Creating an environment where patients join the conversation is critical for helping patients understand your recommendations. When patients understand where you want to guide them, they are much more likely to schedule.
Please recognize just how important it is to involve your patients during your review of findings. And as you consider how to fine-tune your treatment presentations, remember to incorporate more show and tell.
Learn more about how our dental consulting helps practices increase treatment acceptance.