Rome wasn't built in a day – and the same is true for case presentation mastery in the dental practice. Just ask Adam McWethy, VP of Content Strategy for Spear Education and the author of Case Acceptance in the Modern Dental Practice.

“I see a lot of offices that make the error trying to do too much in one go,” he says. “It's important to focus on a few meaningful changes at a time – and the trick is knowing where to start.”

This month, Spear members are invited to join Adam in a three-part bootcamp series that will change the way your office thinks about case acceptance. Ahead of this session on Sept. 10, we caught up with Adam to discuss what doctors and teams should expect, how they can be successful with Patient Education, and what they need to do before the first session next Friday.

Doctor examining patient's teeth with yellow, blue, and white text overlay repeating Case Acceptance Bootcamp

The Case Acceptance Bootcamp takes place over the course of three weeks in separate one-hour sessions. What is the benefit of this format?

Adam McWethy: “One of the biggest struggles dental offices face when they think about case acceptance is they tend to only think about the conversation with the patient, which is just a part of case acceptance. In this session, we're going to break this down and talk about what dental teams need to do to set the patient up for success, what they need to be doing during the conversation and then ending on how you follow up in a way that's going to improve that conversation.”

“What we know is that conversation is crucially important, but that conversation will never be as effective as if you set them up correctly. You need to make sure patients are in the right mind space to hear the conversation beforehand and ensure you follow up. That's because patients can't make a snap decision about these bigger financial decisions. It's more akin to the process of buying a car than buying a toaster.”

“When you plan on a car, you've got a sizeable financial investment that you're making – you need this to be safe and transform you from A to B. Your identity is tied up into it, so the process you go through to make that decision begins with awareness and walks all the way through the customer journey. The moment you're in the dealership is part of the journey, but not the whole thing.”

What should dental team members and practice owners do before they attend or watch the case acceptance bootcamp?

Adam McWethy: “I think understanding our co-discovery methodology for having a conversation with patients – a methodology Dr. Spear has been teaching for years – will speed up the learning curve. Honestly, when you go back and look at the social science research, the method by which Frank has been teaching people to have co-diagnostic conversations – well, you can't build a better one using the research that's out there about how to persuade and communicate with people.”

“If you understand the co-discovery model for case presentation, you're essentially bookending the beginning and the end to make the chairside conversation more effective as opposed to learning everything from scratch.”

Two human silhouettes looking at a lightbulb against a blue background

What actionable and practical skills will dental teams walk away with after this bootcamp experience?

Adam McWethy: “First, we'll explain the 'why' so that everyone in the practice understand why we're doing certain things. We're then going explain 'what' you're doing and how this translates into an action plan – that is, three steps they can take immediately in their practices. I think what we see in a lot of offices is the error of trying to 'boil the ocean' and that leads to considerable challenges. We're going to focus on a couple of specific things that will make a difference using the tools that are available within Spear Online – and we're going to be specific in everything we ask attendees to do.”

“Doctors and team members who attend this bootcamp will learn the 'why' so they know how the pieces of case acceptance come together. Then – and this is the big thing in terms of getting things moving in the right direction – is that we'll give practices one thing to do in order to make a difference.”

Is this bootcamp valuable for practices who have already implemented Patient Education in the practice?

Adam McWethy: “Absolutely, because my guess is most practice owners who have implemented Patient Education have only implemented it in one area of the patient communication life cycle. We're going to give these practices a few actionable things that they can do to create more momentum to keep moving and growing.”

“Even if you're using Patient Education, gaining a deeper understanding of the 'why' behind each action will help the team think more creatively in solving patient communication challenges with these resources.”

This bootcamp is open to everyone who works in a Spear practice, and we encourage teams to attend or watch the session together. That said, who in the practice do you believe will benefit the most from this session?

Adam McWethy: “I would say the doctor and the office manager are probably the most crucial to implementing Patient Education correctly. This is because the doctor must be comfortable having these types of conversations chairside – especially with the co-discovery model. But the office manager is really the one who helps to implement the other pieces that support chairside conversations.”

“I also think hygienists will benefit a lot from this bootcamp because hygienists tend to have lots of opportunities for co-discovery conversations with patients in the operatory. This is especially true after hygiene visits and with patients of record – but this isn't essential to get Patient Education off the ground.”

Beyond getting familiar with the co-discovery model for case presentation, what other actions should dental teams take before attending or watching this bootcamp?

Adam McWethy: “It's a good idea to assign a Practice Delegate if you haven't done so already, which members can easily do through their Spear Online profile. Practice delegates can assign courses and track progress on your behalf – this is especially helpful for the kind of pre-work and understanding that you will need within the practice. For the doctor, this reduces the challenges of implementation because you have somebody else who can be assigning the courses and following up with the team to make sure that you have that alignment.”


Get on-demand access to the bootcamp recording through Spear Online after the live session. To register for the live bootcamp beginning on Sept. 10, contact your Spear Advisor. If you're not yet a member, learn how to join.

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‚ÄčKaren Hewell is the managing editor of Spear Digest.