It’s been asked time and time again, from local gossip to national surveys: “What do you hate most about your dentist?” Some will unanimously agree on the “don’t worry, you’ll be fine” excuses that a dentist passes off as reassurance just to keep a patient pacified. In fact, there are a lot of things we (subconsciously) hate about going to our local dental clinic. It might be the senile old people who scare us off with their falling dentures or the wails of the five-year old look-alike of Alfred E. Neuman. Our excuses to NOT go to the dental clinic are getting pointless nowadays, since the painful treatments are gradually fading away through the help of more powerful (and less dangerous anesthetics).
If you’re like one of the millions of patients in the United States who rely on user reviews on the internet before buying their next piece of gadgetry, you’ll also be likely to look for reviews about your local dentist: how well he’s performed, what procedures he specializes on, how his staff handles the patients, and more importantly, how much he charges ranging from a simple tooth extraction to full mouth reconstruction. All of these things are the ‘criteria’ by which people grade their dentists.
Here are some of the ‘good criteria’ patients are looking in a dentist. Alternatively, for a dentist, he/she should be well aware of these criteria to lower the turnover of patients visiting the clinic:
The ambience of a dental clinic, based on our aggregate reviews, is the fine line that distinguishes a dental office from a government office. Patients are very suspicious about their surroundings, particularly in health establishments like hospitals, testing centers, and clinics. Patients feel susceptible to harm whenever they inside a clinic, so it is a dentist’s utmost priority to ensure that a patient feels safe, secure and has a safe seating distance from another patient, in order to facilitate innocuous vibes towards other patients. Patients prefer a clinic where there is a minimal clutter and lots of magazines to read in order to kill the time in waiting for their turn.
The staff should always greet patients with unreluctant smiles – and we mean every patient. If you are a dentist running a dental office, you should reconsider hiring a possible grouch as your assistant, as they tend to bring ‘bad luck’ to any establishment. We’ve seen the common denominator of any failing startup business – grouches. And it’s a plus factor if you hire a gorgeous-looking and handsome assistant to take the front desk. A dentist hiring a lousy assistant is a like a budding Hollywood actor with a lousy agent – you’ll never get started on good projects.
Practice makes perfect. Once the obstacle courses have been cleared, it’s time for the patient to make the final judgement of the dental office – the dentist himself. The dentist should always, and we mean always be good at what he does. A dentist should not put up any accolades and ‘fellow’ plaques to hang on the wall if he can’t even do a single extraction right – it will only hurt his reputation. As a dentist, you should know your capacity and what you need to hone. If your skills don’t look like they can run a sole proprietorship dental clinic, then become an associate first, or better yet, an assistant to a seasoned dentist. When you deem your skills as ready to engage in sole practice, you can now start your own dental office.
Bonus Tip: Pricing
Dentists should always offer competitive rates to their services no matter what. The world today is so densely populated with competition that some dentists even advertise their services on milk cartons. Get the low-down on the hottest deals dentists in your area offer. By doing this, your patient won’t raise her eyes on the dental bill and still return for any follow-up procedures. Do a quick round-up of dentist directories on Google and see if your name is listed along your competitors. If it’s not, sign up for as many accounts as you can so you can get on top of them, ranking-wise. Also, invest in top ranking local or city dental directory websites so you gain the upper hand when a patient searches for a specific city dentist.