Finding a Dentist Who Puts Patients First

Running a dental practice requires patient satisfaction. When patients are happy, they will return and refer friends.

Offering flexible appointment capabilities is another great way to put patients first. Local physicians are also a fantastic source of referrals, as they often see patients with limited insurance coverage who need help.

1. Excellent Communication

Patient-centred care is a key principle of healthcare, but it’s not possible without good communication. During appointments, patients need to be able to express themselves freely and ask questions without feeling intimidated or embarrassed. Moreover, they need to trust their dentists and feel comfortable enough to discuss sensitive topics, such as oral health problems.

Studies have shown that the quality of dentists’ bedside manner is important in shaping patients’ perceptions of their treatment. A gruff, unfriendly demeanor can leave a bad impression and prevent patients from coming back for future appointments.

In addition to a friendly, welcoming attitude, dentists should use simple language and demonstrate empathy when communicating with patients. For example, they should avoid asking leading questions (e.g., ‘Do you floss and brush twice daily?’) and compound questions, which are confusing for patients (e.g., ‘Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?’).

Some studies have found that patients’ level of trust in their dentists and the amount of information they receive about their dental health are related to their feelings of shame or anxiety. However, social class has been found to moderate the relationship between these variables. For example, members of the professional/managerial classes may be more likely to assimilate and use dentists’ health information than members of the manual classes.

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2. Compassionate Care

A compassionate dentist in Balwyn understands that the patient experience is more than a trip to the chair. It’s about establishing trust and a solid relationship, particularly since dental treatments are not exactly pleasant for most people.

A lot of what constitutes compassionate care can be as simple as sharing a real-life anecdote or offering a genuine compliment. It also involves actively listening to a patient’s concerns and anxieties. This allows the dentist to better elicit the information needed for an accurate diagnosis and more effective treatment.

They will respects a patient’s time and avoids making them wait longer than necessary. Patients are busy, and when a practice routinely runs behind schedule, it sends a message that they don’t value the patient. In addition, they will also offers to follow up with patients after their appointment. This lets them know that they’re not simply a number and that the dentist is always thinking of them. It’s a small gesture that makes a big difference to most patients. They’re more likely to come back and to refer their friends and family.

3. Compassionate Staff

When people talk about their healthcare providers, they often mention the doctor’s or therapist’s bedside manner. A gruff and unfriendly demeanor can turn a routine appointment into a stressful experience. Fortunately, patients can choose to visit dental offices with friendly and caring staff members.

Putting patients first requires that dentist in Deepdene and their teams take the time to make each patient feel comfortable. This includes minimizing distractions by shutting off electronic devices and asking patients to put their music on mute. It also means being an active listener and not making judgments about what is being said. Paraphrasing and asking clarifying questions are helpful tools in this regard.

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Another way to show your patients that you care is by hosting continuing education and lunch-and-learn sessions on a range of dental topics, including treatment planning. Deutsch says that this approach helps patients achieve their desired restorations more quickly and reduces the amount of laboratory time needed to complete cases. And, she says that going above and beyond for a difficult or challenging patient often prompts them to say they would never use a different laboratory again.

4. Flexible Financing

Most dental procedures come with a price tag that can seem unaffordable to patients without insurance or with limited coverage. As a result, they may delay or decline necessary treatment out of fear of the cost. Thankfully, many dentists who put their patients first offer flexible payment plans to help them afford their care.

Some practices allow patients to make payments over time with a healthcare credit card, which essentially functions as a regular credit card but allows you to pay for medical expenses. These cards typically have high interest rates, so it is important to use them sparingly.

Others have their own in-house financing options that can be more affordable, especially for those with good credit. Upgrade, for example, offers a personal loan for dental expenses that starts at $1,000 with low interest rates and a no prepayment penalty.

Some patients may also be able to use their FSA (flexible spending account) allowance, which is money set aside from each paycheck before taxes to pay for health-related expenses. Be sure to ask about this option when searching for a dentist.

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5. Excellent Patient Reviews

The quality of a dental practice’s reviews has never been more important to patients than it is today. Increasingly, consumers rely on the online opinions of other patients to help them make their decisions about businesses.

This is especially true in healthcare, where patient reviews can significantly influence a person’s decision to see a new dentist. As a result, it’s important for dentists to focus on creating positive experiences for their patients and to encourage them to share their experiences on social media and review websites.

It’s also important to remember that today’s patients are busy, and they want to be able to schedule appointments quickly. This means that dental practices need to be able to offer same-day and next-day appointment availability for new and existing patients. Additionally, many patients appreciate dentists who offer weekend hours and the option to request an appointment online. These small touches are essential to ensuring that patients feel a sense of urgency when booking an appointment. Moreover, they help a dentist stand out from competitors who may be slow to respond or only offer limited scheduling options.