You have probably lost count of the times patients have responded this way to the diagnosis of periodontal disease. Human nature and how patients have been trained in medicine dictates that there is ONLY something wrong when it hurts. After all, for years the first question the physician asks a patient has been “what are your symptoms” or “where does it hurt?”
Moving patients from a “fix what is broken” mentality to a “prevent it from getting broken in the first place” is a tall order in dentistry. So before you hear the, “But it doesn’t hurt” objection one more time, here are some tips to implement immediately to help your patients make the shift from “hurt” to “health.”
- Watch how you present the problem in the first place. Instead of TELLING a patient they have a problem, ASK the patient, “How long have you had this infection?” Then let the patient respond. Just by virtue of how you present the problem, the patient will take more ownership of his or her condition.
- Watch how you respond. If they say, “It does not hurt,” you can respond by saying, “I am always amazed how an infection this serious never hurts until it is too late. In fact, in dentistry we call this condition the silent killer of teeth because it rarely hurts until it is too late to save the teeth.”
- Give them something to which they can relate the condition by saying something like, “Do you know anyone who has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes? Do any of those conditions hurt initially? Gum infection is very similar to those diseases. It does not hurt until it is too late and it has far reaching, total health consequences.”
- Show them the data. We have all been conditioned over the years to believe what we see in writing, especially if it comes from a laboratory that did the scientific test! When patients see the live bacteria that just came from their mouth, it is a compelling eye opener!
Helping patients see the bigger picture is secondary only to helping your entire team see the big picture of the true nature of periodontal disease:
- It’s not an isolated issue.
- It needs to be treated at its earliest stages.
- It is most likely a systemic problem, not just an oral problem.
- It can be cured…despite traditional dental thinking about the disease.
- It has severe total health consequences if left untreated.
I have not met anyone who helps dental teams see the new, bigger picture in treating periodontal disease than Dr. Tommy Nabors in the “No More Hygiene” program
Most practices that attend describe the experience as “life changing.” What was equally impressive were the results those offices were able to achieve when they returned home to their practices an implemented the new philosophy with their patients.
Don’t miss the next opportunity to have your team experience the same thing in 2018. For more information on the No More Hygiene course, visit www.NoMoreHygiene.com or e-mail: Answers@TotalPatientService.com