The Benefits of Truly Understanding Your Patients

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  Posted by: Dental Design      2nd May 2022

Quality of Life (QoL) is significantly lower for the completely edentulous patient  and truly  understanding  the  reality  of  this  can  be  beneficial  for your practice. “Same Day Teeth: 12 Months of Nurture, Two Hours in the Chair” will  be  presented by Pravesh Solanki  – director  of IAS  Academy, Changing Faces® denture clinic franchise, and Same Day Teeth network – in the Team Programme at the ADI Team Congress 2022. Today, he gives an insight into why dental hygienists, therapists, nurses and practice managers should have a shared understanding of the implant patient’s mindset:

With respect to any treatment, including Same Day Teeth it’s important   for   the  

whole   team   to   have   a   true understanding of the technique and clinical side of things.  As well as this, an understanding of the day-to-day problems that the patient faces without a solution is integral to ensuring patients have a positive experience in practice. Typically, these patients are denture wearers who walk around with a stick of denture glue, embarrassed to smile, lacking in confidence, and unable to eat the foods they want – this presents a functional problem and can lead to poor diet and ill-health

“When the entire team gets to grips with the challenges these people face they are better able to support the patient when they are speaking to them. They need to explain the benefits of Same Day Teeth physically, emotionally, and functionally. It’s really important for them to understand the problems, the solution, and all that’s involved as the patient will have hundreds of questions about the entire process: cost, pain, treatment time, and more. Same Day Teeth is probably the most expensive treatment that practices can offer and the largest investment your patient is likely to make after buying a house – some patients remortgage their house to support this treatment option.

“If the dental team doesn’t have an understanding of the patient journey, the practice itself can lose patients who may have otherwise chosen to proceed with treatment. The reception team, for instance, are the initial points of contact for a patient as they are likely to speak to them on the phone before they’ve even met the dentist. When speaking to patients they typically share how anxious they were when they first picked up the phone but the receptionist was polite and knowledgeable which put them at ease. Even when they come into practice the way they are greeted alters their experience. Some patients take up to 18 months to make a decision, some wait up to two years, and along the way they ask the entire team lots of questions. Everyone will have an influence on their decision.  

“Follow up and communication can also significantly impact the decision your patient makes. For instance, following an initial inquiry, many practices will ring the patient back once, leave a voicemail and think that their work is done. Often these patients need to be called, emailed, or sent a card in the post, and sent a text message too – a lot of people might be busy and may not ring back an unknown number, so putting in the effort to contact them in different ways can pay off. A poor follow up process is a mistake because these large investments take a while for patients to make decisions about and they need to be supported through this process. Even once a patient has been in, is there a solid protocol to chase patients in a way that isn’t perceived as an inconvenience?

“They key take away from my lecture at the ADI Team Congress 2022 should be to understand the emotional turmoil that these patients go through. Step into the shoes of these patients and genuinely empathise with their situation. When you can do that everything else will fall into place – the conversations you have, the tone you take, the way you come across, and more will change.

“It’s important for dental nurses and practice managers to attend the lecture, as well as dental hygienists and therapists. The entire team make the difference. Without a congruent team, the implant surgeon wouldn’t be placing the dental implant. During the lecture I’ll be talking about the Same Day Teeth journey from a patient perspective too. I’ll be sharing specific stories from patients whose lives we’ve changed with video testimonials. I’ll also be revealing my entire blueprint of what we do in our clinic to guarantee success!”  


ADI Team Congress 2022

“The Great Debate”

26-28 May 2022, Manchester Central


ADI members will be able to attend the ADI Team Congress for discounted rates. Join today.


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