Dentists – How to be popular with patients

They may not like to admit it, but all dentists know whether or not they engage well with images-17patients. Some naturally find it easy to create a rapport in just a few minutes, while others have to work a bit harder.

There are even those who don’t feel the need to make their patients like them – after all, the same treatment will be needed whether the patient likes them or not!

However, there is more than enough evidence to show that a happy patient is not only loyal, but will also tell their friends about how great the practice is. You can’t buy that kind of publicity, so it’s worth putting some effort into the relationship between your patients and all the staff at your practice.


If you find that side of things hard, here are a few simple steps you can take to get you started.

  1. Smile! There’s nothing more terrifying for a patient than a dentist who looks like he’s about to deliver terrible news, even before they have sat in the chair. If you appear relaxed and welcoming, they will feel calmer and their overall impression of the appointment will be more positive.
  2. Remember: asking about their family or their holidays can make patients feel more like individuals rather than just another mouth to look at. Imagine, then, how they feel when, at their next appointment, you remember their children’s names or ask how their holiday to Italy was. You don’t have to have an encyclopaedic memory – just make a note and remember to look at it before calling them into the room. However, don’t fall into the trap of trying to chat to them while you’re working – nobody likes trying to answer questions around a set of instruments and a dentist’s fingers!
  3. Listen: you may be the expert, but every patient wants to feel like they have some say in what’s happening. Allow your patient to finish speaking before you respond, and ensure you answer in a way that shows you have taken it on board.
  4. Explain: most patients like to know what you are doing and why. A dentist who describes and explains each step in a procedure will often find his patients feel much more positive about the experience than one whose patients lie in the chair with no idea what is happening until suddenly it’s all over.
  5. Finish: don’t let the appointment fade out like a bad pop song. Make sure you give the patient your attention until they leave the room, and give them a reassuring smile as they go. The last impression they have of their experience will stick with them, so make it a positive one.


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