21 Sep The 3 Types of Patients Every Dentist Will Meet
For many dentists or dental specialists, meeting new patients and forging relationships with them is one of the job’s greatest perks. Among the many remarkable aspects of dentistry is the fact that it applies to all people; everyone can benefit from healthy teeth and mouths. Because of this, clinicians have the privilege of working with a vibrant and diverse cross-section of the population to help them achieve optimum health and treatment results. Despite their varying backgrounds and demographics, patients often fall into an array of archetypes that help predict behaviors, motivations, case acceptance rates and more. It is important to acknowledge every patient as the unique individual they are, but it can be helpful to become familiar with some of these archetypes in order to anticipate their needs and provide them the best possible experience with your practice.
- The Frightened or Anxious Patient
These are among the most common types of patient, and with good reason – it is estimated that between 10-20% of the adult population is afflicted with dental anxiety. Whether it’s due to a negative childhood experience, a painful or unpleasant procedure or even a general fear of clinical settings, this type of anxiety can discourage many from pursuing the necessary care and treatment. It says a lot about your expertise that they trusted you enough to visit your office, so it is important to keep them on the right track in terms of case acceptance. Address their anxiety with sedation dentistry methods if available and educate them on the importance of pursuing needed treatment through in-depth education.
- The Proactive Patient
On the opposite end of the spectrum from the first patient type, this patient has no qualms about visiting the dentist and wishes to do what is best for the health and appearance of their smile. They are consistently punctual, proactive about future appointments and are receptive to your opinions about their treatment plan. These patients are the lifeblood of your practice, and you must do everything you can to replicate them through referrals and word of mouth. These patients respect your time and expect that you will do the same for them, so make sure that you do everything in your power to create a positive experience while they are in your care.
- The Externally Motivated Patient
You will often only see this patient in the event of a dental issue or complication. They don’t pursue treatment as often as they should, and as a result encounter recurring issues for which they must visit your practice. They generally go about life assuming that if they are not in any pain, there is not an issue, and thus only seek assistance in reaction to some type of painful or unpleasant event. Often, these patients simply have not received adequate education surrounding their oral health but are willing to seek treatment when they know they need it.
While each of these three patients is unique, they all share one thing in common: they could benefit from cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). This advanced yet accessible imaging technology yields extremely high-quality 3D renderings with lower radiation exposure and shorter scan times than using traditional imaging methods.
This will allow you to educate the anxious and externally motivated patients as to the importance of continued dental visits while reducing appointment times and increasing comfortability for the proactive patient – ensuring all three will have a positive experience at your office.
If you have more questions about CBCT technology or how you could utilize it in your practice, call PreXion today at 855-PREXION or find a representative in your area.