How to handle a patient who refuses a procedure and other advice

August 25th, 2014


A good clinic needs the best dental enterprise software it can afford, but even with the ease of scheduling that comes with this product, how can someone handle a client who simply refuses a procedure even if it is necessary for his or her health? Dentistry IQ answers this question in a recent article.

According to the source, dentists should first ensure the patient is aware of exactly what procedure he or she is neglecting to make an appointment for, along with its importance and any financial options available for making the procedure affordable. Dentists may also want to explain to the patient the pain or discomfort of the procedure, which may be minimal, if he or she is concerned about dental surgery. One might also discuss other patients who have had similar problems and gone through the procedure without incident. A dentist could additionally mention his or her expertise in the area, recommend someone who is an expert or indicate less expensive options at other clinics that specialize in patients who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford oral care.

After that, what happens? Dentistry IQ  recommends that someone call a couple of days later with a follow up to the above, asking if the patient has had a change of heart. If he or she needs more time, then give the patient more time. After that, contact them every few months or so, emphasizing the importance of fixing their tooth problems sooner than later. Additionally, speak with them at oral hygiene cleanings.

Other tips from experienced dentists
The above advice comes from a dentist who has been practicing for a long time. Aside from school, when dentists and hygienists train on the latest dental software and use dental tools and oral hygiene equipment, there are other times when practitioners can learn from those who have more experience. One example of this is from conferences and another is from websites. For example, another story by Dentistry IQ gives advice from Sandra Voelker DeLong, a dentist who has been practicing for 30 years.

One of her words of wisdom is that "the boss is the boss," which means that a dentist must follow orders. Additionally, once a dentist becomes the boss of a clinic, he or she must learn to accept the responsibility of this, which is great.  She also adds that people don't change, so that someone who doesn't floss may never adopt this habit, no matter how often someone reminds him or her. Just remember that dentists practice dentistry, and it isn't their job to convert people into perfect patients.

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