There are numerous ways in which a doctor can help patients to understand the need for their proposed dental care. Properly educating patients is a critical component of successful treatment plan presentation in today’s dental office environment. Countless teaching aids are marketed to assist dentists with this endeavor. One of the more simplistic modes of educational communication includes offering written information explaining recommended treatment in the form of brochures. Video communication through a streaming educational DVD running in the reception area and on a flat screen TV in the operatory caters to a different style of learning.
Use of the intraoral camera and other diagnostic equipment such as a laser cavity detector not only educate your patients but give them the impression that your office is on the cutting edge of technology. This idea can be further reinforced by developing a practice video and streaming it on your website. This video can also be used as a marketing tool both online and in hard copy format. Utilizing a digital x-ray system speaks volumes to your patients about your commitment to keeping your office up to date and technologically savvy.
Almost certainly the greatest benefit of offering digital x-rays is the patient’s perception of them. As a patient once commented, “They increase the cool factor of this place.” We have a computer monitor mounted on the patient chair that we use to show patients their x-rays while discussing the treatment plans. The images are huge in comparison to traditional films, and they are immediate! Doctors can magnify calculus and interproximal decay. Patients can see what you see. Their dental needs are clearly visible to them, larger than life. What more education do they really need? Seeing is believing.
As a practicing dentist, how do you use technology in your treatment plan presentation?