Advocacy is the third emotional outcome in building emotional momentum. It starts during the new patient conversation and continues through treatment presentation.
Advocacy is the emotional outcome for patients when they realize your concern about their dental care suitability.
Suitability is about how dentistry needs to fit into patients’ lives. Is your care suitable for their budgets, work schedules, health issues, and family matters? Your advocacy means guiding patients into making the right decisions and timing about their dental care. Your advocacy for complex care patients is critical.
From surveys of thousands of general dentists for over 20 years, most patients whose complex dental care fees are $10,000 or greater, 90% of them aren’t ready to start complete care.
It would make sense then to anticipate their lack of readiness early in your relationship. During your new patient one-on-one conversation, suitability is the elephant in the room, isn’t it? The opportunity to express your advocacy resides in relieving patient’s anxiety about the suitability of their care. Don’t let the worry linger about suitability throughout the new patient appointment. During your new patient conversation with complex care patients, let them know that dentistry of this nature for most patients is surprisingly expensive and time-consuming. Ease into this conversation after you’ve discovered their disability and behavioral benefits. Offer patients ball-park estimates of cost and time in treatment. Decompress the anxiety of suitability early in your relationship.
Don’t make patients wait until after all the time and effort of examination, diagnostics, and consultations only to experience a massive dose of sticker shock, disappointment, and at times, anger.
Sticker shock about complex care fees is inevitable. Losing patients from it is not.
For many patients, it’s not the right time in their life for complex care. Knowing this early in your relationship lets you accommodate their suitability and offer care that fits for them now. This keeps them in your practice until they’re ready for complete care. The language of advocacy accommodates patient readiness. Phrases like “when you’re ready” and “you always have the choice of when to start care” signal patients you’re not selling them into care; you’re guiding them. For patients who aren’t ready for care and have experienced advocacy, they’ll return to you when they become ready.
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For over three decades, I’ve presented my work worldwide on the new patient process and treatment acceptance. I’ve written three books on the topic and have coached a full scope of practices ranging from billion dollars a year Dental Service Organizations to solo practices.
When you’re ready to grow the practice you’ve earned and deserve, let me help.