As much as we don't like to admit it, any position that deals with the public has to have some form of customer service. Being a dental hygienist is no different. With some of these tips, you can ensure that your patients want to come back and specifically work with you.
So it's important to ask...
Are you doing everything that you can to ensure the comfort of your patients?
Let Them Choose The Music Or Channel
Most dental offices have small individual radios or TVs for each operatory. If your dental office has one of these we would highly suggest giving the controls over to the patient.
We know that some patients may choose to listen to music that is not the same genre that you prefer but, it is more important that the patient feels at ease in the dental office. This will make their visit less stressful as well as your job easier.
The best option is if your dental office has TVs in each operatory. We know that there is probably a standard channel that it is recommended to stay on, but we would once again suggest getting it approved to allow patients to control what channel the TV is on.
This will give patients a feeling of control over the situation, and a way for them to distract themselves from whatever is being treated. This can be very beneficial because when we are distracted we are less sensitive to incoming pain.
Remember that one of the biggest complaints that patients have about going to the dentist is the pain that they endure during a cleaning. We know that it is only as painful as poorly they took care of their oral hygiene, but the point stands nonetheless.
The goal should always be about the best care possible for a patient, while also providing the least painful experience possible. This will have patients wanting to come back to your dental office, as well as loving the modern feel.
If They Come In Upset, Don’t Take It Personally
Let's face it, you have no idea how someone's day has been going before they walk in that door. They could be having one of the worst days of their week, month, year, or that they can remember. So take everyone's attitude when they come in with a grain of salt. The odds are is that if they came in in a bad mood, then it has nothing to do with you or the dental practice.
This can be really hard to manage while not taking it personally because they are going to be rude, or upset easily, but it will serve you better to keep it in mind.
Give Your Patients Sunglasses
No, we don’t mean just giving your patients your favorite pair of sunglasses. We are referring to sunglasses in a protective fashion against dental lights.
Your patients are laying down and having a bright light shone directly into their mouth, which means some of that light will be going into their eyes as well. It’s important to make your patients feel comfortable, and this includes offering them a pair of sunglasses to protect their eyes.
Give An Honest But Understanding Diagnosis
Something we always talk about is being transparent and being honest. Honesty goes very far in the dental industry.
There are plenty of dental practices that do not prioritize transparency or the best treatment options for a patient. Some dental practices instead prioritize what will make them the most money off of the patient.
Now we understand that running a dental practice is still a business, but this should never corrupt the ethical treatment of a patient.
When you are giving a diagnosis make sure that you are trying to explain it to the patient in as many layman terms as you can. The more a patient can understand and make sense of what you were telling them, the more likely they are to trust you and your opinion. Nobody likes to be told countless things without understanding what they really mean.
Don't get us wrong, it is important to give them the proper name of their diagnosis so that they can properly conduct their own research or at least have knowledge about it. However, it is also important to explain in layman terms the realistic reasons why this happened, and the methods to treat it.