Are you the same dentist you were when you graduated from dental school? If you have been in practice for 10 years or more I bet you would say that the changes since your early days of holding a handpiece have been nothing short of transformative. Even if you are just a few years out of school, you can probably point to some significant changes in how you deliver patient care.

These changes have come through technology, in your systems, and in your own clinical ability thanks to experience and up-to-date continuing education. With the pace of change today you can essentially be a whole new dentist every five years.

The question is: Do your patients know that?

From the perspective of most patients, going to the dentist is still “going to the dentist.” To them it’s a matter of getting into the chair and getting ready to open wide. They might notice that some of the technology looks different but for the most part the changes that happen in a practice—those changes that you invest so much in and get so excited about—are invisible to them. It all takes place behind the curtain. That is, unless you make it a point to pull back the curtain and let them share in the excitement.

When you introduce digital radiography or intra-oral cameras to the practice, really introduce it. Give each patient a “tour” of the new technology and describe how it changes what you are able to do. If you now have CEREC, every patient should be taken “backstage” and shown how the system works and what it could mean to them, even if they aren’t a candidate for a CEREC restoration Have you and the team had significant advanced training lately? Get those certificates up on the wall and make sure they are a focal point of any new-patient office tour, along with before-and-after photos and stories of some of your more eye-popping patient successes.

Patients today are used to seeing rapid advances in the world around them and they can easily become bored with anything that does not seem to keep up with their evolving expectations. It’s up to you to demonstrate to them that the changes happening in your practice are more interesting—and have a greater life-changing potential for them—than their latest iPhone update.