"I just want a cleaning.”

The word “just” is a tip-off. It means the patient doesn’t really put a high value on the procedure—it’s like dropping a shirt off at the dry-cleaner. And it means they, not you, are establishing the expectations for the visit.

That’s why you have to retrain yourself, your team and most of all your patients to talk about “preventative hygiene” as a clinical appointment. “Cleaning” is what they do at home with a brush and floss. What you provide is professional care, expert evaluation and timely intervention. You give them important insights into their oral health condition and you intercept small problems before they have a chance to become big problems.

This is not just a matter of semantics. It’s not about playing with words for marketing purposes. It’s about using the RIGHT words to describe what you REALLY do, so patients come to appreciate the value of your services in the right way.