Bedside manner is not a practice that applies only to doctors who work in a hospital. What you say around your dental patients is important. There are certain words that will instantly invoke fear in your patients on a psychological level. These words will make their visit less enjoyable and have them focusing on their fears versus the results of their treatment. Using these words in a conversation with a new patient can also discourage them from scheduling.
No matter your type of practice, specialty or niche, your team should be warned against using the following words:
1. Drill – Instead say: “remove decay”
2. Probe/Probing – Instead say: “evaluate gums” or “complete examination”
3. Inject/Injection/Shot – Instead say: “provide anesthesia” or “numb”
4. Procedure – Instead say: “treatment” or “care”
5. Pain/Hurt – Instead say: “discomfort”
6. Rot/Rotted Out – Instead say: “infected area”
7. Needle – Instead say: “numb”
8. Pull the tooth – Instead say: “remove”
9. Incision – Instead say: “treat” (They often don’t want that many details)
10. Technical Jargon – Instead of “abutment” say, “neighboring tooth/teeth”. Using jargon confuses and frustrates the patient.
Download these dental curse words and print them out for your team members.
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