Last week, I wrote an article about the nature of perfection and how it’s the pursuit of excellence—the ongoing journey of getting better—that is what it’s all about.

If you truly embrace this philosophy, you’ll also accept that your patients are never going to be perfect either. In fact, as easy as it is to love the ones who never give you problems, it’s worth noting that patients who have troublesome habits provide you with something very special: an opportunity.

These people are living evidence of the gaps in your systems and they show you where you need to focus for improvement. Without these patients, in other words, everything would be perfect—and how boring would that be?

So let’s learn to love these patients too, and recognize the opportunities they present.

Learn to love the patients who say no—they give you an opportunity to build the relationship and demonstrate the value of ideal care over time.

Learn to love the patients who arrive late or cancel—they give you an opportunity to develop and communicate a better story about the value of an appointment.

Learn to love the patients who don’t pay on time—they give you an opportunity to help them prioritize care and to tighten your systems for upfront payment.

Are great patients born or made? Just about any patient has the capacity to become a great one. To find out how, download the free eBook: Trust and Value: A Field Guide to Today's Dental Patients.