Dr Mark HassedWatching dentists talk with patients about treatment there are a number of mistakes that I see made over and over again.

Mistake #1 — Talking too much

When it comes to talking about the technical details of dentistry more is not better.

Imagine if you took your car to be repaired. What you want to hear is what the problem is, how much it will cost and how soon you can have you car back. You do not want a lesson on how an internal combustion engine works.

Yet so many dentists overwhelm their patients with the technical minutiae of dentistry.

I once heard a dentist explain all the technical details of how a root filling was done to a patient who did not even need a root filling. When I asked them why they did that the dentist replied: “I thought they might be interested.”

In another case I saw a dentist explain in great detail, while drawing diagrams, about how decay spreads under the dej. This was to a patient who had come in because they were concerned about gaps between their front teeth.

So, rule #1 is: Keep your discussions with patients short and avoid technical details unless the patient specifically asks about them.

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