Every patient that visits your practice and sits in the dentist’s chair has one thing in common: they all made the choice to fix their dental problems. But they don’t need just treatment, they also need dental patient education in order to maintain good oral health.
With all the complex information and technical jargon involved in dentistry, educating your patients effectively can seem like an impossible task. Never fear – there are ways that you can simplify the patient education process and keep your patients in the loop.
Trends in Dental Marketing: Simplified Patient Education
1. Keep it Simple
A fascinating study conducted on increasing patient adherence rates found the best results through the use of the SIMPLE system.
SIMPLE is a mnemonic that stands for:
- Simplifying regimen characteristics (such as your patient’s oral hygiene routine)
- Imparting knowledge
- Modifying patient beliefs (try making use of a reward system)
- Patient and family communication
- Leaving the bias (tailor your education processes to your patients’ level of understanding)
This system can easily be applied to patient education and is an excellent starting framework for your patient education processes.
2. There's an App for That
We live in a tech-obsessed society, so why not work that to your advantage with patient education? There are many great apps available for both dentists and patients that make the education process a breeze. Apps like IvoSmile use augmented reality technology so your patients can see what they’d look like with prospective treatments, allowing them to better understand how a restorative or cosmetic can help them. Be sure to have these apps available, for use with your patients, on your office tablets or smartphones.
3. Stay Active, Stay Involved
One of your most important roles as a dentist is guiding your patients to a healthier life. That means your work goes far beyond just an initial diagnosis and treatment – and it means that your patients need to understand their role in the education process as well. Whether your patient has a chronic condition or an acute illness, they need to know how to manage their treatment outside your office. By staying involved in the education process and stressing the importance of their adherence, you are much more likely to succeed in encouraging patients to understand and learn from you.
Getting those patients into your office was the first step, but now it’s up to you to make sure they’re as informed as possible about their oral health. By simplifying your patient education process, you can ensure all your patients have the knowledge they need to keep their smiles healthy and beautiful for the rest of their lives.
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