Understanding what patients dislike about going to the dentist can help inform practices on how to do better.
A couple of weeks ago, a survey was done with 150 people being asked why they love their dentist. In the spirit of continuous process improvement, they were also asked why they hated their dentist. I know, those are words that make us cringe, but it is worthwhile to hear what they are thinking. After all, when you know there is a problem, that is when you have the chance to do something about it.
Here are the compiled feelings that your patients might have.
I think that it is sobering to hear what people are thinking but sometimes too afraid to verbalize. How does it make you feel? You may feel discouraged, angry, unappreciated, sick of the whole business, etc.. I didn’t write this article to upset any of you. Instead, I figured it would be a useful reminder of how we can’t make every patient love us. They may have their own personal issues such as anxiety or resentment for having to take off work to come for a cleaning. For some patients, the reality is that you can’t accommodate them. You may try to the best of your ability, but some things can’t change. Brainstorm what you can change. Even if it is as simple as acknowledging their anger when they learn what their insurance will not pay for. Empathy and compassion do go a long way. So do 3 little words…” I am sorry.”
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share with me how you feel reading this list. Then, share what, if anything, can be done. Even something small can make an enormous difference.