Trust in the Dental Office

When the Reader’s Digest article called “Can You Trust Your Dentist?” came out I recall.

The question that continued to arise in my mind was: “What should I do in my practice to instill TRUST?” The answers to that question are what I think is vital to building a practice with sustainable , long-term growth. Click more info here.

Be honest and respectful, and work with integrity

Really understand the needs and wishes of patients, by asking questions and listening

Show them you care about it; Don’t just talk about it

The purpose to be trustworthy isn’t enough, trust takes TIME. Being consistent and creating a culture of GIVING (servitude) rather than GETTING (selling); being a patient counselor, consultant or advocate will help in building trust. The fastest way to get patients to feel understood is to ask open-ended questions such as: “What can I do for you?” “How can I best serve you?” “Help me understand what your goals and desires are for your dental health.” If you treat people with respect (like a friend), give them a platform to express their needs and desires, listen to them and show them that they care, your practice will flourish.

In the dental office too, the overall state of our economy has put a premium on confidence. It’s important to create a stable environment in this “New Economy” where patients are better educated, more demanding and more resourceful than ever before. Patients are looking in their health care providers for “certainty and stability.” If your office has high staff turnover and patients are uncertain of “who” they will see on their next visit, they will leave your practice and find an office that will provide familiarity and stability.

With a culture of trust, and a stable environment, we are more likely to increase the amount of cosmetic and elective procedures we do. The transition from “drill-and-fill” dentistry and gum disease treatment (25-30 years ago) to beauty, health and well-being, and prevention (elective and cosmetic dentistry) has been significant in our industry. A plethora of products were built around this “cosmetic” theme, and consumer demand perpetuated the phenomenon. Looking back, plastic surgery used to be more about surgical deformation repair; today, beauty and cosmetics are more involved. Heck, I don’t believe that they used the terms “cosmetic surgery” or “cosmetic dentistry” 25-30 years ago! The offices that are known, liked and respected are the ones that will flourish in the “New Economy” with this increased public demand for such elective procedures. It returns to Trust … and what we can do to be trustworthy.