Learn to Love Your ‘Bad’ Patients
If you’re like most dentists, you’re in love with the idea of the “perfect patient.” The perfect patient comes in with an obvious important dental need. The perfect patient appreciates the value of ideal dentistry and the value of your diagnosis. The perfect patient accepts your comprehensive treatment plan and is eager to get started. And the perfect patient is not concerned with things like insurance coverage. They’ll pay up front for whatever is required, no questions asked.
The problem is that perfect patients walking into your practice are about as rare as Sasquatch sightings. Perfect patients already have a dentist. And if they are coming to you, they are arriving with a perfectly maintained mouth. The same goes for your long-time patients who always accept whatever you recommend. They are great patients, but there isn’t really an opportunity to make a big breakthrough.
On the other hand, the so-called “bad” patients, the patient who doesn’t keep up with basic maintenance, the one who doesn’t appreciate the value of ideal dental care, or who will only do as much as insurance covers and not a penny more, need you. You became a dentist to help people like this. Your aim is to help them see the possibilities that you know exist for them; to help them get past their insurance mindsets; to take them to another level. This is where the greatest opportunities lie, for you and for them.