Speaking the Patient’s Language

Imagine if an exterminator informed you, after inspecting your house, that you had isopterans. What would you ask next? Let’s assume the exterminator noticed a puzzled look on your face, so he explained in detail the taxonomy subclass of gnathamitermes magnoculus.8.4.15 confused person

Would you now feel less confused and possibly motivated to take action? Or, would you start looking for a new exterminator, preferably someone with a smaller vocabulary?

If only the person had said you had termites, then you be ready to take action. Then you would have understood the magnitude of the situation. But if you do not understand the service that is offered, how can you purchase that service?

A similar scenario occurs in dental practices when patients are diagnosed with gum disease. When patients hear phrases such as “periodontal disease,” “scaling and root planing,” and “perio maintenance” they are lost. And when patients endure explanations about deep pockets, sub-gingival calculus, and attachment loss they feel much like you would after a lecture on the taxonomy subclass of gnathamitermes magnoculus.

If you want to positively affect your patients’ dental health, you need to speak their language. This language includes easy-to-understand words such as gum disease, bacteria, and infection. And the shorter the explanation the better. If you had to discuss gum disease treatment in three short bullet points, what would you say?

It’s difficult to increase treatment acceptance when your patients are confused. That is why everyone benefits when you connect with patients in the language they understand.shutterstock_301920299

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