More Than Just A Set Of Teeth - How well do you know your patients?

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Patric Moberger, May 2018 

As we focus on building a patient-centric approach, a key factor is to deeply understand the needs of each of your patients. Yes, they come to you because they have ‘dental concerns’. But they are a whole lot more than just a set of teeth.

There is a lot more below the surface and to truly become an exceptional dental practice, you must consider these four factors: 

1) Know the "needs" of your patients

Each patient has intrinsic needs, such as a need to be in control, a need to be listened to, a need to feel safe, and a need to trust you. If we violate any of these core needs, it is unlikely a patient will tell us. Instead, they will just disappear.

2) Understand the "wants"

Once you know the needs, you must then begin to deduce what your patients want. They are coming to your practice usually for some basic dental treatment, but beyond that what else do they want. Long-lasting health? More confidence from their smile? A dentist who gives them choices? A practice that opens after hours for better convenience? These are all aspects of your practice that you must understand if you are to succeed at becoming patient-centric.

3) Be aware of the emotions that the patient is feeling

All humans are emotional beings. We respond to the environment around us and make decisions based on what we feel. In a dental practice, this is critically important. We must understand what our patients are feeling at all times. Take time to check in with your patients and to ask them after the appointment on surveys to see how you have affected them emotionally. In fact, instead of having a dental nurse make a check-in call on your patient after a major treatment, why not have the dentist to personally make the call?

4) Get clear on all assumptions that the patient has and align yourself with them

Each person who visits your practice has assumptions about what will happen, how long it will take, what the treatment will cost, and so on. It is important that you truly understand these assumptions before you begin treatment with a patient. You can guide their expectations and assumptions, but you must first understand where they are coming from. Perhaps Steve Covey said it best ‘Seek first to understand, then to be understood.’


Start applying these four factors in your approach with your own patients and see the difference it will make to your daily practice - Right from the moment they arrive at your front desk, sit on your chair, as they receive their treatment, make their payment and after they have left. 



With more and more private practices being set-up and the rapid changes to all the growing challenges each oral health professional is facing, the stakes have never been higher. 

The Exceptional Patient Experience
Focus on the lifeline of your dental business - your patients.

In this exclusive one-day event, you and your entire team will learn the best practices on how your practice can become patient-focused and deliver a unique experience for each patient - resulting in loyal raving fans. At the end of the day, we all know the most effective form of marketing is the positive word of mouth, otherwise known as a personal recommendation. 

Here's what you'll learn:

  • the difference between service and experience
  • why the customer experience is the only long-term worthwhile investment
  • how to create a vision for what "exceptional" looks like
  • how to map out the patient journey and identify crucial touchpoints that will make your practice more patient-centric
  • how to best meet the needs of your future patients, the elderly, as a consequence of the ageing population and learn what is "The Silver Wave" phenomenon
  • and much more!

Transform your approach and start focusing your practice's vision towards the lifeline of your dental business now - your patients


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