When working with my patients, I’ve come to see that aside from fixing their teeth, I’m also a consultant and at best, a coach to them.
If all I did was fix their chompers, that would get old rather quickly. Helping them change their habits and become proactive in their own care is a very fulfilling process for both them and myself.
As a dentist, I’m looking to establish a relationship with my patients much like a medical doctor.
Your physician talks to you about your health and what you can do to improve it. Same with dentists.
Short term thinking would have it that a dentist should allow poor patient habit to continue in order to profit off of their bad decisions.
But most of us are in the long game as dentists. We want our roles in their lives to be meaningful. We want them to change their bad habits and learn better dental hygiene.
Here’s the odd twist. Despite the seeming financial benefits of letting a patient worsen in their habits, it’s not at all true. If a patient’s dental health deteriorates one of two things will happen. They will either stop going to a dentist or only show up when they need a tooth pulled. Eventually dentures will enter the picture, another one-time solution to dental care. In short, they won’t be a patient of you – or any dentist – for long.
Keeping a patient by coaching them to better personal care will result in a fulfilling long-term relationship, one that, circumstances permitting, will see them as your patient for many years.
So if you want to bring greater purpose to your role as a dentist, become a coach to your patient. It will bring dividends both personally and financially for that matter.
If you want to learn how to be a better dental coach please get in touch. I can be your coach too.