Dental Appointment Treatment Confirmations In Advance
Dental appointment treatment confirmations are helpful. Because with treatment confirmations we gain clarity. The dental practice is able to proceed with confidence. And the dental patient knows exactly what is happening. There is absolutely no confusion if done well.
We strive for complete transparency. And we must remember something. Our dental lingo and language may be foreign to patients. Therefore, we do well to repeat treatment needs and cost to our patients 3 times. Now, let’s look at when to do this:
- As we schedule a new appointment
- At appointment confirmation
- Upon patient arrival for their appointment
Prepare The Team Well!
Everyone on the dental team presents treatment. Therefore, let’s get the team ready to do so! Be sure the team has access to fees. Patients ask about their insurance benefits too. So, we want to be ready for this. At least know some basics. For example:
- How to print treatment plans
- Dental insurance terminology
- Basic estimates and calculations
More dental team members need help with calculations than you might think! How do I know this? It is the #1 question I receive by email each week. And because I see this in training sessions. Although the math may be basic to some, to others it is complex. Take the time to discuss this as a team. Because it pays off to be sure everyone understands the “basics”.
This is where it is extremely helpful if the dental practice uses their software correctly. We need patient treatment plans to be current and clean. But we also rely on insurance data entry to be exact and accurate. There are many intricate pieces to manage treatment presentation and confirmation smoothly.
Dental Appointment Treatment Confirmations Script
Now, let’s consider scripts. As we schedule an appointment we review treatment needs. And perhaps say something like this:
“Mrs. Jones, would it be okay if I review the cost of the crown on your lower right as we schedule it now?” Take the time to review the total cost of treatment and the estimated insurance benefit. Also, advise patient of the length of their appointment. And this is a fabulous time to discuss any additional appointments necessary.
Appointment confirmations allow additional treatment confirmation. Even for those of us who confirm by text and email. We can word our confirmation scripts accordingly. For example, we might consider the provider’s name. We could also include the words “your routine hygiene appointment” or “your restorative appointment”. And I always like to confirm restorative appointments personally. Even when a text message is used.
When patients check-in for appointments we have opportunity. Or we might prefer to confirm treatment as patient is seated in the treatment or hygiene room. At check-in we could say “Hi Mrs. Jones. Great to see you today. Dr. Brown’s assistant, Candy, will be right with you. We’ve got you on our schedule for an hour today to prep your crown on the lower right. Would you prefer to make your payment now or as you leave?”
It’s always a great idea to reconfirm before any tools touch a tooth. So, as we seat our patient in the dental chair, we might say “Mrs. Jones, let’s just review our plan for today. We plan to repair the tooth on your lower right. Tooth #30 with a crown. Do you have any questions before we begin?”
Each of our patients is unique. Some patients require more hand holding. Others would rather just “get it done”. There are patients with many questions. And there are those who have none. We want to adjust our technique and style accordingly. It’s not a one-size fits all business. Dentistry allows us to treat each patient as a whole person.
Tone, technique and tact are key. We want to be authentic and caring. And once we feel sure our patient aware and informed, we can relax. The idea isn’t to be repetitive or obnoxious. But to be sure we communicate well.
I’m here for you! And just an email away! If there is anything you or your team struggle with. Or you would just like some practice with treatment presentations or financial conversations, please let me know.