A Guide to Increasing Dental Patient Treatment Acceptance

Patient Treatment Success – Henry Schein Financial Services

As in every practice, some patients are reluctant to accept the care and treatment plan you recommend, even when they know they need it. 

These tips below can help you increase your acceptance rates.

4 Tips To Increase Your Patient Treatment Acceptance Rates

1. Treatment Plan Presentation

When you present a treatment plan to a patient, you aren’t “selling” your services, even though you may see it that way. You are informing patients of the care they need and are providing a plan to improve and maintain their oral health. With any presentation, keeping your audience engaged is important, to help include pictures of examples, and even physical props, depending on the procedure. Making patients understand not only what needs to be done, but why the treatment is important, and the risks of forgoing it. The power of using technology as part of the treatment presentation can also be important.  By showing the patient, through technology, the actual issue and needed treatment can help them understand better what they are accepting and lead to better acceptance rates.

It may only take a few minutes, but outlining why the treatment is important, how long the treatment will take (including if it will require multiple visits), can help patients choose to accept your treatment plan more easily.

2. Develop A Relationship

More often than not, many of the treatments you recommend are with patients that spend a very limited time with you. They may come to their regular appointments and cleanings, or visit you when something is bothering them, but even with these patients, it’s important to develop a rapport with them. If you ask patients, especially those who you don’t see regularly, to accept a potentially costly treatment plan, many people’s first reaction will not be one of acceptance. Listen to them and their concerns, and if they are still on the fence follow up with them in a day or so. 

By getting to know your patients and building trust, they may feel more at ease with the treatment that you are asking them to accept – even if it’s for the benefit of their oral health.

3. Discuss The Cost Of Treatment & Payment Options

It’s no secret, one of the top reasons people stay away from the dentist’s office is around cost. With fewer companies and insurers offering dental coverage to their employees, as well as offering high-deductible plans, many people are not as inclined to include regular dental visits into their budget and routine.

Offering a range of financial choices and options is a great way to encourage patients to accept and more easily commit to a treatment plan. By offering the same financing options to all your patients, it can become part of your overall treatment presentation. 

A patient financing solution, like CareCredit, can help customers accept the treatment you recommend and provide patients with the ability to pay over time. Plus, when you offer financing options like these patients may be more likely to accept treatment, and you will receive payment in 2 business days, even if the patient hasn’t made a payment yet.

4. Book The Appointment That Day

Once a patient has accepted the treatment plan you recommend, it’s important to get them to book an appointment that day before they leave your office.  Even if a patient accepts the plan in your office, but doesn’t book an appointment, they may change their mind and forgo the treatment. Instead, by having an appointment scheduled, customers will be more likely to follow through with that appointment. If customers insist on thinking about it, and choose to not schedule an appointment the same day, then a good course of action would be to follow up with them within the week. This can help address any other concerns they may have,  and further, develop a good relationship with the patient.

Bonus Tip: Learn From Rejection, And When Patients Say No

Even if you follow all these tips, some patients still may say no. Use these opportunities to learn why. If it’s possible, ask patients why they decided not to go with the treatment plan you have outlined. Some patients may not have accepted the treatment no matter how much effort you have tried, but others may provide insight that can help you perfect your treatment plan presentation or other avenues to improve and explore.


How can you increase your patient treatment acceptance?

  1. Prioritize the presentation of your treatment plan
  2. Create rapport & develop a relationship with the patient
  3. Discuss the cost of treatment, including payment options
  4. Schedule the appointment that same day

Henry Schein Financial Services offers patient financing solutions in partnership with CareCredit. For more information about CareCredit, please visit our website here, or contact us today.

The information contained herein is intended to be informative in nature and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The information was obtained from sources we believe to be reliable but is not guaranteed. Henry Schein does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any statements contained herein, or correct inaccuracies whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Dental professionals must make their own business decisions and may wish to seek professional advice before acting with regard to the subjects mentioned herein. Nothing contained herein should be treated as legal, business, accounting, international, insurance, tax, or other professional advice.

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