Dental Case Acceptance and Education

Many dentists are becoming familiar with the term, “Dental IQ.” They are realizing it has somewhat of a monetary barrier. It has been determined that dental work costing less than $3500 is usually acceptable by a patient; however, amounts exceeding $3500 may be declined by the patient. This is where the dental knowledge comes into play with dental case acceptance.

Once the patient has entered the dental office a dentist can be fairly certain s/he has a long-term patient. Each dentist has his/her own way of presenting their diagnosis to each patient. In most situations, once the dentist knows the patient the presentation will vary from one patient to another. Still, the bottom line is the fact that the diagnosis must be presented to each patient in whatever manner the dentist determines is necessary.

One assumption some dentists makes it that the patient will listen to the diagnosis and then follow the treatment plan the dentist suggests. It is assumed that a patient will base the decision to have the work completed based on what may happen in the future if the treatment plan is not followed. The issue here is the fact that the dentist may assume the work will be done simply on his/her recommendation. This assumption leaves out key components of the patients’ life such as the patient not having the money, no dental insurance, fear, or other factors that contribute to the patients’ decision.

It has been determined that most patients will agree to a plan of $3500 or less. This amount of money will not present too many inconveniences or hardships in comparison to what might happen down the road should the work not be completed. However, once the bill tips over $3500 this reduces the odds the patient will comply with the treatment plan – instead stalling or postponing the treatment or even choosing to go to another dentist.

The dentist, therefore, needs to gather some information and learn more about each of his/her patients. It is important to understand, upfront, the concerns the patients has. It is important to know the patient’s situation in regards to finances and if there is dental insurance. This will, in the end, save time for everyone involved.

Other factors the dentist needs to know and understand include evaluating how dentist treatment fits into the life of the patient. Will expensive treatments be an inconvenience or cause problems. What are the financial abilities of the patient as well as the health problems? More information, more personal, such as a newly divorced or a newly married patient, a newborn in the family, a new job each of these plays a role in what a patient might be able to afford.

Once this information has been accumulated the compilation is referred to as the “fit factors.” Basically, this simply involves the dentist getting to know and understand each patient as well as understand their living situation. Once this data is collected it allows a dentist to meet the needs of each patient.