183 How to Discuss a Treatment Plan With Your Patients


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Hi guys, and welcome to another episode of the Delivering WOW Dental Podcast. I am so excited to be here with you today. So today we're here to talk about how to discuss a treatment plan with your patients. And this is one of the questions that I get asked so often from dentists and dentists inside of our Dental Boss Movement Facebook group. And so I wanted to take some time to actually go through how I do treatment plans in our practice and how we have helped others all over the world, really, to be able to understand how to deliver treatment plans and have success.

Now, one thing that I talk a lot about is how can we learn how to do things for our practice? How can we grow our practice using frameworks? And the reason why frameworks work and why they work every single time is that frameworks are a lot like gravity and gravity is a principle. And so if we drop a pen, the pen will always go to the ground because gravity is actually a principle. And so I love when I am coaching our clients or when I'm teaching and sharing that I talk about frameworks. And so when we start looking at how do you discuss a treatment plan with your patients? I think what we need to actually do is back up to how can we get patients excited and asking us to start treatment without us even having to think about how we're going to present the treatment plan. So stay with me here.

So as we start looking at frameworks, I want to go ahead and share one with you. There are many frameworks that we can implement, but this one is one of a few different frameworks that we have created with delivering well for increasing your case acceptance, for getting more patients to go ahead and get started with their treatment plans. And so this case acceptance framework will help you to be able to, again, close more high-value cases, it will help you to have your team become more confident when they're speaking to patients, it will give them the confidence because patients are going to start saying yes, and they're going to get excited and they're going to want to have conversations even more. So really, really excited about this. So how it goes is actually, let me just go ahead and give you a quick example and then I'll break down some of the strategy. All right.

So as we start looking at procedures that we want to discuss with patients, and this could be Invisalign, it could be veneers, it could be all-porcelain crowns, it could be Perio Protect, it could be Velscope, it could be sealants. What's always going to be most important is that we truly believe that the service that we're offering, the service that we're suggesting, recommending is something that we truly believe in. Because if we don't believe in it, if the hygienist or the dental assistants of the front office doesn't believe in it, then it's not going to be easy for us to talk about something. And in fact, we shouldn't. And so that piece is really very, very important. And so when we start talking about, for example, VELscope, if you don't believe that VELscope can help to reduce the risk of oral cancer getting worse, then you shouldn't discuss it. So I'm going to give an example, an example of sealants.

So recently I actually was on a phone call with a doctor and she was saying that she's just not sure how they can grow their practice even more, like everybody's working really, really hard and they're tired, they're overwhelmed at the end of the day. And she said, "Honestly Anissa, I don't think we can produce anymore." And I said, "Okay, well, let me ask you a question." And she was actually a pediatric dentist. And I said, "Do you truly believe in sealants?" And she said, "I absolutely believe in sealants." And I said, "Are you sure?" She said, "Yes." And I said, "Okay, great. Well, are you always recommending sealants when you know that they can benefit a patient?" And she said, "Well, to be honest with you, not all the time." And I said, "Okay, well, when would you not?"

And she says, "Well, sometimes what happens is that maybe a kid has come in, maybe they've had sealants, maybe even done somewhere else. The sealant has come out and so now we are a little bit shy

and don't always have the conversation because we know that parents are more than likely not going to want to pay for it because the sealant has already ... They've already paid for it." And so I said, "Okay, thank you so much for sharing that." And that's really important because a lot of times we're not having conversations because we are afraid of being objection blocked. And honestly, the reason why we're afraid of being objection blocked is that we've not yet learned the skillset that I'm actually going to share with you now. All right.

So say, for example, in my practice, we have a general practice. We see kids, we see adults inside of our practice, and I am a true believer of sealants. In fact, when I was in dental school, Dr. Filler, who had the clinic for dental students to have their teeth cleaned, he was the first person that really talked to me about sealants. And it was in my freshman year of dental school. And he said, "There's something we can paint on your tooth that would prevent cavities. Would you like to learn more?" And I said, "Yes." And so he told me about a seal and he's like, "We have time today. You want to go ahead and get them done?" So I got them done. And what was really interesting is over the years, every time I would have a cleaning, I would always say, "How are my sealants? Are my sealants okay?" So clearly it was important to me.

What I really thought about later on, as I started looking at strategies to grow my practice, how do I better communicate with my patients? How do I train my team? What I discovered is we were not talking about sealants to adults. And the real reason was just like, the story that I shared earlier is that we were afraid that because insurance might not have covered it, that patients would say, no, I don't want to do it. In fact, we, more than likely had had discussions with patients and patients were saying, is insurance going to cover it? Is insurance going to cover it? No, it's okay. And after hearing that so long, we just stop talking about it.

So let me go ahead and share something that you can utilize to actually become more confident, so your team can become more confident and so that you can help patients get their results and get the treatment that can serve them and really help them. So here's an example with sealants. Ms. Joe, there's something that we can do to paint on your tooth. And it would prevent a cavity by up to 80%. Do you want to learn more? So the patient says, yes. And we say, great. It's called a sealant. How it works is that we paint something on the top of the tooth. And once we do, bacteria and food and sugar can't go through it. And because of that, you're 80% less likely to get a cavity.

Now here's the thing. Insurance doesn't always cover it, but why our patients choose to do it anyway is that they know that number one, it doesn't cost a lot of money. In fact, it's just a fraction of the cost of if you had to have a filling. It doesn't take a lot of time. In fact, we can go ahead and get these started today for you and it typically takes 5 minutes, no more than 10, depending on how many we're doing. And it gives you that peace of mind that you don't have to worry. Now we do have time today to go ahead and get started with doing your sealants. We can do more than likely, maybe four or even six of them today. Would you like to go ahead and get started with getting those done today?

All right. So as we start looking at that framework, my question to you is, do you feel like I was trying to sell you anything? All right. I would love to know, like do you feel, like go ahead and think right now in your head and answer that question. And so I know the answer is no. I said, there's something that can help you. Would you like to know more? They said, yes. I told them what it was, really simple terms. I was not bringing out photos, I was not showing them before and after pictures, I was not breaking down exactly how I do a sealant. I just said it's simple. It's something we paint on the tooth and sugar, food and bacteria can't go through it. So now they're putting that picture in their own mind and then I put out the objection. Now here's the thing. Insurance doesn't always cover it. But why our patients choose to do it anyway.

Now, as we start breaking down the strategy here, what's really powerful is that we are starting with

asking that question. There's something that can help you. Do you want to know more? And this could be, there's something that can help you to reduce the bleeding, that can decrease the chances of you needing gum surgery. And that can prevent your teeth from looking long. And this could be a patient that has perio. Do you want to learn more? They're going to say yes. If the patient has a dark line at the gum, because they've had a PFM crown, there's something that we can do to beautify your smile and remove that dark line. Would you like to learn more?

And so patients say yes, they give you permission. It's almost like when we go to the mall and someone is handing out samples of teriyaki chicken and they're saying, would you like to have a sample? You say yes. Next thing you know, you're looking at the menu and you're enjoying the sample and you're buying Chick-fil-A for lunch, or you're buying Chinese food. It's the same exact thing. And so we get their permission, we go in simple terms. Great. How it works is, really simple, really, really simple terms. So Perio Protect could be great. It's called Perio Protect. How it works is we give you a tray that's very similar to a mouth guard or bleaching tray. There's special gel in there that's made specifically for patients who have bleeding gums and who have gum disease and who are at risk for surgery. And you wear the trays. And once you do it decreases, those risks. Now here's the thing. Insurances not always cover it, but why our patients choose to do it anyway.

So you want to go ahead and make it simple. You want to go ahead and put out the objection. So if the objection that they're going to typically tell you is insurance doesn't cover it, then you will say, here's the thing. Insurance doesn't always cover it. So you put out the objection so that now you can speak to that. Why our patients choose to do it anyway. That is so powerful because people want to understand how they can get things done. And when you let them know that other patients are still doing it anyway, now they realize that they can too. What's really important as well is to go ahead and put through the benefits. I love giving a time benefit. So here's the thing. It doesn't take a lot of time. So even with Perio Protect, it doesn't take a lot of time. In fact, instead of having to come in for many visits where we have to numb you. Now, those visits in office for deep cleaning will decrease because you'll be able to have this tray and you'll be able to do it at home.

Or you can go ahead and get your sealants on it. It just takes five minutes. So you want to put out a time benefit, you want to put out a money benefit. So Perio Protect will save them money because now they will not have to do as many deep cleans in the office. The sealants will save them money because they won't have to do the fillings. And you also want to providepeace of mind. And you will have peace of mind because, and let them know why they'll have peace of mind. All right. The last piece of it is putting out a call to action. And that call to action would be, we do have time today to go ahead and get started with whatever their first steps are. All right.

So that could be taking your scan for your Perio Protect trays. It can be taking your photos, your before photos or your pre-impressions for your diagnostic wax up for your veneers. We do have time today too, I could be doing the procedure and let them know that you have time. And then go ahead and put out the question. Would you like to go ahead and get started today?

All right. So hopefully this serves you, and this helps you. Again, this case acceptance framework is something that I created. I was really frustrated hearing a lot of people talk about case acceptance. And so a few years ago, I really went on this journey of really trying to understand the psychology of why people make decisions, the psychology of why patients make decisions on what's really holding practices back. And I invested hours and hours and hours, and a ton of money, really working one on one with people who are teaching advanced psychology and really started to dive into creating this framework and many other frameworks that will help you grow and get you your results and give you that confidence to be able to help your patients, to be able to get the treatment that they truly deserve. So hopefully this helps you.

Again, thank you so much for listening to our podcast. If this served you if you could do me a huge favor. Inside of our iTunes, inside of our Google, you'll have a place to go ahead and review this podcast. I'd love it if you can just share some feedback, maybe of your takeaways, and how this podcast has helped you. And if you've not yet had a chance to join us inside of our Dental Boss Movement Facebook group, I invite you to join me there. dentalbossmovement.com, every single Wednesday I'm coming on and doing training for you for completely free, helping you to grow your practice. We're also bringing on dental bosses who have done amazing things, where they're sharing their journey from getting started to having success. Again, can't wait to see you inside of our Facebook group, dentalbossmovement.com. And I look forward to chatting with you again, really, really soon.

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Delivering WOW Podcast with Dr. Anissa Holmes. We'll catch you next time.

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