Creating Trust between the Dentist and Patient

In all of my experience, the most difficult problem regarding managing a dental procedure is actually trying to convince the patient that he or she needs it. Too often we have heard patients grumble, joke, accuse and even explode that our services are just offered to make more money. They also complain that these services are too expensive, and that “dentists make a lot of money”.

Truth be told, it is not a rosy or grassy as it seems. A dental surgeon has many other issues going on that needs addressing, and in providing a quality service to the patient many elements are at work at the back of the scene. However, this article is not about me complaining about my problems as a dental surgeon.

I aim to advise how to create a level of trust between yourself and your dentist. You may think that it is the dentist’s responsibility to do so. However, I urge that trust is a two way process, therefore you need to be as open and assertive towards it. In order to protect your interests, you can do the following to increase your level of trust in your dentist and the procedures that he or she advises you.

It is always advisable to go to a dentist with whom one or more of your acquaintances are familiar. We are most comfortable with people we know on a certain level. Dentists are no different. If you have hesitations, you can always ask for credentials and work experience about the dentist. A properly trained, well qualified and understanding dentist will be more than willing to share his or her qualification and experience with you (and in this process toot his horn). This will help bridge initial trust level.

You can go for an initial consultation and follow it up with another dentist’s opinion, however, make sure you don’t fall in a trap. Too often dentists have a different approach towards handling a case. No dentist is right or wrong, however, the approach can make a patient confused. Therefore, if going for this option, make sure you have some background knowledge of the possible treatments that can be offered for your particular situation. This will help you understand the process or method of treatment, and thereby create some level of confidence.

Now many progressive dentists are using cameras that show the condition of your mouth with video and pictures. This helps a patient understand the kind of problem he or she has, what is its reason and how it will be managed or treated accordingly. This is another very good way of knowing that your dentist is genuinely interested in giving you a good service without charging you extra.

A good level of trust helps in creating good treatment outcomes, happier patients and positive future dental visits.

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