Conversation with a patientToday is another full day of CE at the 27th New Dentist Conference and one of the speakers is Dr. Paul Homoly who is presenting a course on guiding patients towards good dental health decisions.

Earlier this year ADA New Dentist News spoke with Dr. Homoly about his approach for using conversation to gain case acceptance. Here are his suggestions for getting the conversation started as they appeared in ADA New Dentist News:

“When you first meet with a new patient, you want to have a conversation that is as comfortable as possible,” explains Dr. Homoly, “and for the patient, reclining back under a bright light isn’t very comfortable.”

If you have a conference space or a private office, that may be a more relaxed conversational setting. If you are pressed for space, go ahead and have the conversation in the operatory, but hold off on the bib and bright light and adjust the chair so the patient can see you eye-to-eye without being distracted by a jumble of handpiece hoses.

Instead of jumping in with your philosophy of care or a run-down of the appointment’s activities (“First we’re going to take some radiographs”), start with a focus on the patient’s needs. Dr. Homoly suggests, “Welcome to XYZ Dental, I’m Dr. Paul. How can I help you today?”

What have you learned about presenting treatment plans to patients—is this something you learned while in dental school, or that you learned in practice? Leave your answers in the comments.