Treatment Acceptance: Three Language Strategies to Overcome Objections

By Frank Clark

Executive Coach, Fortune Management

In dentistry, treatment acceptance can often be met with hesitation or objections from patients. Understanding and effectively responding to these objections is crucial for dental professionals. Here are three powerful language strategies to navigate and overcome common objections in dental treatment acceptance.

Reframing:

One of the most frequent objections in dentistry is the perceived high cost of treatment. Reframing can be a game-changer. Like changing a picture frame, the content seems different based on the frame or context.  You want to change the focus from out-of-pocket cost to the long-term benefits and value of the treatment. For example, suppose a patient questions the cost of a procedure. In that case, you might say, “While this may seem like a substantial investment to you now, investing in this treatment now can prevent more serious and expensive issues in the future, and give you better oral health overall. “

Reality Strategy:

Another common objection is doubt about the necessity or effectiveness of a treatment. The ‘Reality Strategy’ language pattern challenges the basis of this belief by asking questions that lead the patient to reconsider their stance. For example, if a patient questions the need for a particular treatment, a dentist might ask, “Have you considered how this issue could progress if left untreated, and the potential risks and discomfort that might result from that?”

Consequences:

Patients often focus on the immediate consequences of treatment, such as discomfort or time investment. Using the ‘Consequence’ language pattern involves guiding the patient to consider the long-term consequences of not undergoing the treatment. For example, in response to a patient’s concern about the discomfort of a procedure, a dentist could say, “It’s understandable to be concerned about discomfort. However, consider the discomfort and health implications of not addressing this dental issue now.  We will get you comfortable with the procedure now, and you will ultimately be much more comfortable once the procedure is completed.”

Role-playing these patterns with your team will improve everyone’s skills.  In applying these language patterns, dental professionals need to maintain empathy and understanding, ensuring that the patient feels heard and respected. Listening is so important! By skillfully reframing objections and guiding patients to a new understanding, dentists can not only increase treatment acceptance but also foster trust and long-term relationships with their patients.  You can grow your practice and provide better dental care when you improve treatment acceptance.

To learn more about these and other strategies for growing your practice, please register for one of our upcoming Camp Enrollment workshops.

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