3 Tips for Making Stronger Connections with Patients

Making a strong connection with your dental patients is vital for improving treatment acceptance and practice performance.  Fortunately, the path to making a stronger connection is easy to master if you remember the following three tips.

The first tip is to make eye contact, especially when you are meeting the patient at the start of the visit.  Making eye contact communicates trust, and you want your dental patients to feel comfortable with you.  But eye contact does not end after the greeting.  To many times dentists focus their attention solely on the perio chart or treatment plan, forgetting to reestablish eye contact with the patient.  Remember to keep your focus on the patient throughout your review of findings.

The second tip is to watch your body position.  This is easy to forget, and too often dentists will talk about very important information while patients strain their neck trying to listen.  When patients are uncomfortable, your message about needed dental treatment is lost.  Remember to sit at eye level and position your chair so that the patient can comfortably see you.

Finally, turn your review of findings into a conversation, when appropriate.  Invite questions with open ended statements such as “How would you like to proceed?  Or, “What are your chief concerns?”  These questions require more than a yes or no answer.  Too many times dental patients remain silent when you ask, “Do you have any questions?”  However, when you invite conversation, you flush out potential barriers to treatment that you can address right away.

Your connection with patients is critical to your success as a dentist.  Please remember the aforementioned three tips to make your patient relationships even stronger.

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