Dr Mark HassedA friend rang me this morning because he wanted to ask me if an endodontist who he'd just seen was competent. The day before, the endodontist had examined my friend and then told him all the options for his sore tooth.

The problem was that the endodontist told my friend in such a way that my friend was totally bamboozled.

My friend was told that he could pull it out or save it. If he saved it, a root filling and a crown would be needed. If he pulled it out then his options were plastic partial denture, CoCr partial denture, bridge, implant or leave the space. For each option he had a detailed explanation of what it was, the costs and the pros and cons. Pretty much, the endodontist tried to give my friend a dental degree in 15 minutes.

Hopeless! My friend was all at sea. He didn't know what to do and hence the call to me.

I'm sure that this this endodontist would say that he is doing everything right but the simple truth is that he is not. If you give information to people in a way that they cannot possibly understand then you are doing them a real disservice.

Do you have a method for explaining treatment to patients in a way that they can understand?

If not, or if you are not getting excellent case acceptance then give me a call. I've now successfully coached over 30 dentists in improving their communication skills.

Communicating is not difficult but if you want to do it consistently well then you do need a system.

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