Part two of the blog addresses the 5W’s of treatment case presentation. I find this very helpful when I need to gather myself before a presentation. It keeps me focused on the key points of the presentation process and serves as a guide of what I need to cover when speaking to the patient!
WHAT. In order to present the treatment, you must know what you’re presenting. So it’s probably a good idea that you are knowledgeable and understand the procedures you’re talking about. You should also be able to explain it to the patient as simply as possible so that they understand.
WHY. Know why the patient needs to get the work done and communicate that to them. If you don’t have that information, ask the treating dentist!
Many patients won’t act on treatment unless there is pain involved. If they aren’t having any pain, it does not mean that there is nothing wrong. Inform them of the RISKS of delaying treatment such as MORE expensive treatment later, more visits to the dentist, and ultimately more pain – *Use the line “dental issues NEVER get better with time, only worse”. So investing in the work today will save them down the line.
HOW. Go over details of the procedures and how they will be treated. You can discuss the amount of visits required, if the patient will be numb and if they need anything to manage their anxiety? (especially if they mention they’re scared or anxious). DO NOT volunteer unless they bring it up themselves.
WHEN. As soon as possible! Do not encourage patient to delay treatment. This is NEVER a good idea. However, you should be honest and let them know “everyone is different” and even though they may not be having any pain today, that it can flare up at any given time.
WHERE. Where is the work being done? Are we referring them out to a specialist? If so, make the patient aware of how it may affect insurance reimbursement for the work being done HERE (if they are using dental insurance to help cover the cost of treatment).
*When in doubt, ALWAYS ask the doctor! It is totally OKAY and acceptable to tell the patient you don’t have an answer for them and need to check with the dentist!