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Volume 54, Issue 3
We know what patients don’t like about going to the dentist. But what do they LIKE about going to the dentist?
We know what patients don’t like about going to the dentist. But what do they LIKE about going to the dentist? What makes patients comfortable going back to the same practice? We surveyed patients in several practices and here are the reasons they say they love their dentist.
1. He/She knows me. “I don’t have to repeat my history over and over. They know what I have gone through and what works for me.”
2. I trust my dentist. “That is a biggee. Trust was the most important reason. Let’s face it-some of us have baggage from a bad experience with previous dentists.”
3. He/She has an excellent reputation. “There is comfort to know that other patients think highly of my dentist.”
4. The office location is convenient. “Location, location, location. That motto works well for many things. Convenient access to the office matters in a busy schedule.”
5. They have a Keurig in the waiting room. “Whether a patient or a parent, coffee matters. Just wish they had decaf flavored more often!”
6. There is a remote control in the waiting room for the TV.“Being in control matters. I hate the last dentist where they had ‘educational’ programs on a loop. Boring. That did nothing to reduce my stress level of seeing the dentist.”
7. They give me a thorough cleaning. “Sure, my gums bleed, but I know that they got all the plaque out.”
8. They don’t shame me.“They educate without making me feel bad that I am not doing enough to keep my teeth clean.”
9. They treat me with respect. “I transitioned from being a child patient to be an adult seamlessly.”
10. The magazines in the waiting room are current and have a wide variety to choose from.“There must be some kind of discount on parenting magazines and auto mechanic magazines that some dentists use. I so love to have a variety to choose some. It helps make time pass.”
11. They call me when the dentist is running late. “This is especially important so that I don’t waste too much PTO. This matters when you are working and don’t have a flexible boss.”
12. The text reminders for appointments and confirmations makes it easy to manage my schedule.“Reminders don’t hurt. These are faster than phone calls.”
13. There is very little turnover of the staff.“I like the familiarity of seeing the same people working on me every six months.”
14. The front desk employees are very friendly.“This is the first exposure to the office when I enter. It is so important to have a smiling, friendly person there welcoming me.”
15. The dentist doesn’t rush. “I know that it is not a mill. He/she takes as much time as needed to provide care and answer my questions. Thank goodness they don’t ask questions when it is impossible for me to respond.”
16. They are sensitive to the cost issue.“Knowing us for so long, they know that I will pay the bill in installments. I so appreciate their sensitivity to this issue.”
17. They have a great back massage chair.“I have only seen this in one practice. But it will keep me coming back for years to come.”
18. No upselling. “I love that my dentist does not pressure me to get two bridges as I don’t want them nor can I afford them.”
Many of the reasons that were given tie into good communication, marketing, and respect. The bottom line-they respect their dentist and he/she respect them. Do you know why you love your dentist? If you don’t, maybe you should address why or think about making a change. And now we as dental professionals can understand ways to give our patients more reasons to smile.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and share why you love your dentist.