The biggest mistakes during a consultation - Part 1

Mistake #1

You don’t explain the problem in depth

Why is this essential

Imagine you are driving in the middle of the night, almost out of fuel but there hasn't been a petrol station on the road for 2 hours in a winter time. Imagine how the problem grows and how the urgency to find a petrol station becomes more and more pressing when you are still driving and nothing and nobody on the road, and you released if the car will stop you will be in a big trouble, and how happy will you finally be with the petrol station you find in the last kilometres?

"If you don't tell them how can you expect them to come to you for help?"

Most patients don't know how big their dental problem is

Most patients don't know how big their dental problem is - they don't know they might be running dangerously low on fuel - and they don’t know the possible consequences either. If you don't tell them that they are running out of fuel, and they can have serious problems if they get stuck in minus 20 degrees, how can you expect them to come to you for help?

Nobody likes to give bad news, so many dentists make the mistake of not wanting to scare the patient and instead being vague, not clear and specific enough about the problem and the consequences. As a doctor, they try to cause the least pain, but it is extremely important to present the patient's problems objectively, including the worst possible outcomes. This is both your professional and moral duty.

The importance of explaining the dental problem

The patient needs to see clearly what the situation is and what they can expect in the future if they don’t do anything.

Real-life example #1 - Missing tooth

If the patient is missing a tooth, the patient needs to know that as a result, the teeth on either side of the gap can drift inward, the teeth in the opposite jaw may get elongated, and the bone volume and structure will most likely weaken when the time comes.

Real-life example #2 - Dental hygiene

Another example: if a 35 year old patient wants a nice smile and the OP shows that she has 4 mm pockets, she should be told that if she does nothing about it, she may lose all her teeth and may not even get implants after she loses them.

Real-life example #3 - Old bridge

They need to know that a badly sealed old, decaying bridge is not only aesthetically unpleasing, but also because the polished teeth underneath will be ruined and no longer good for anything.

"By presenting the problem they will want a solution as soon as possible rather than putting it off."

To sum up the essence

The bigger the patient's problem, the more urgent and the more valuable the solution will be for them. If the patients understand how serious the problem is and what could be the worst case scenario, they will be grateful to be saved from a possible even bigger problem later on, and more likely want a solution as soon as possible rather than putting it off. By presenting the problem in the right way, you can also build a very strong foundation of trust with your patient.

Ideal Dental Consultations - build strong foundation of trust

This is where the 2nd pillar of the consultation master triple comes in...

Want to know more?

From our upcoming "The Art of Dental Consultations" ebook and "Dental Consultation Masterclass" webinar you'll get invalueable knowledge:

  • the secrets behind stress-free dental practices
  • strategy & tactics for successful consultations
  • methods to greatly improve your explanations
  • the value of connecting with your patients
  • the importance of asking back
  • the art of presenting prices and plans
  • preventing complaints and misunderstandings

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About the author

I am Tibor Botos, founder of Tibor Dental, and a practice owner. I've been in the dental industry for almost 20 years. We have held more than 10,000 consultations.

Based upon this massive amount of experience, we have created the Dental Consultation Masterclass, which teaches dental professionals how to transform patients who are normal, or even skeptical, into ideal patients in the first dental consultation.

A mobile app designed specifically for dentistry. Use it during your consultations to...

  • illustrate the treatment by personalised animations.
  • give prices in seconds