I recently watched the US figure skating championships. My wife sweet Lisa and I curled up on the couch with our cats, and we spent a mellow evening watching this country’s finest figure skaters. I like it when TV commentators are former Olympians; they spot crucial distinctions in athletes’ performances that can result in gold medals or no medals at all. These distinctions seem like well; they seem like little things, like how a skater will enter a jump or how they’ll connect with the crowd. It turns out it’s the little things, these distinctions, that create Champions. t’s true in dentistry too. For example, distinctions in occlusal patterns, or density of bone when placing implants, or the wear facets on posterior teeth. These little things, these distinctions turn out to be big things, Don’t they?

Astute distinctions in diagnosis and treatment create clinical champions.

In this video and many to follow, I will point out some critical distinctions related to the new patient process and treatment acceptance. Some may seem like little things. These may seem trivial to some dentists but not to those who aspire to become Champions.

I want to make the first distinction between the standard of care versus Standard of Caring.

Standard of care relates to clinical diagnosis, treatment planning, treatment, and post-operative care. Standard of Caring is offering dental care experiences that signal to patients they’re being well cared for.

Standard of Caring is behavioral issues relating to the quality of patients’ dental care experiences. It’s human nature to want to be well cared for. There are times when your standard of care can camouflage your Standard of Caring. You see, students of complex care dentistry learn a very linear, cognitive approach to clinical standards of care. We learn rigid protocols relative to diagnosis, sterile technique, occlusion, airway management, preparation design, and technique-sensitive processes to produce high-quality clinical outcomes. These protocols have specific nomenclature and require high levels of attention to detail. Unfortunately, the rigidity and complexity that complex treatment requires can spill over into how we talk to our patients.

They don’t have tenacious attachments to rigid protocols, nor do they understand our specific nomenclature. Consequently, when we offer patients care, we mistakenly attempt to bring them into our world of specifics, details, and rigid protocols. This doesn’t give them the experience of being understood. On the contrary, it often distances them from us and resistant to our treatment recommendations. Often we unintentionally camouflage our Standard of Caring with conversations about the standard of care. This is the big blind spot for complex care practitioners. They believe they believe that educating complex care patients to technical details influences them to accept care. Now, if you’ve been in practice for more than a few years, you already know this isn’t true. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not at all suggesting you abandon patient education or consent conversations. You see, it’s a matter of proportion. How much time and effort do you put into discussing technical details versus the time and effort you put into understanding patients and giving them the experience of Standard of Caring. To consistently experience case acceptance from complex care patients, we must offer experiences proportionally between conversations about the standard of care and Standard of Caring.

If improving your new patient experience and treatment acceptance is important to you, consider visiting Treatment Acceptance Mastery.

Our next video lessons will continue to illustrate other distinctions in dentistry and how they’ll advance your Standard of Caring. Thanks for listening.