Good doctor-patient communication should start on day one. When patients walk through the door, they need (and want!) our full attention.
That attention and willingness to listen to a patient’s cares and concerns is also vital before a complex procedure, such as root canal therapy, retreatment therapy, root surgery, an extraction, or implant surgery. In fact, the European Journal of Medical & Health Sciences states that strong, comprehensive communication between doctor and patient is “very important” and improves patient satisfaction. They go on to state that it is a doctor’s “moral duty” to clearly facilitate the patient regarding their treatment plan and what to expect from said treatment.
And that is what every Renovo endodontic specialist works hard to do. We will always take time to develop good relationships with our patients, discuss their questions and concerns, help set reasonable expectations, and reduce their anxiety. We understand that good communication can help reduce patient anxiety and make them feel more confident about the treatment they’re going to receive.
As Pat McMillan, author of “The Performance Factor: Unlocking the Secrets of Teamwork,” once said, “Excellent communication doesn’t just happen naturally.” Instead, it’s “a product of process, skill, climate, relationship, and hard work.”
Some of the steps our team takes to ensure we’re communicating effectively include:
Every patient must consent to treatment before we can perform a procedure. But a patient can’t consent to something they can’t fully comprehend. That is why our team will:
Once we’ve covered those key topics, we’ll provide the patient with an informed consent form for them to sign. Their signature indicates that they understand:
There’s nothing worse than when a patient thinks a treatment will be a cure-all (or close to it), then learns it’s not. This is why careful communication on the part of an endodontist is so important.
Good communication is transparent. It helps the patient know exactly what they can expect during and after their procedure. During a patient’s consultation, we’ll discuss things like:
As dental professionals, we’re used to doing a lot of talking. We’re used to explaining procedures and educating our patients. But that doesn’t mean we’re not ready or willing to listen to our patients. We believe that active listening is vital for the patient-dentist relationship.
Active listening helps us understand our patients and where they’re coming from. We start to understand how each person thinks and communicates differently. This allows us to adjust our education techniques, as some patients are better auditory learners, while others need visual examples.
Two examples of when a general dentist might work with an endodontist are:
There are some steps patients need to take before their procedure. Depending on the type of treatment they’re receiving and their medical needs, they may need to:
After a procedure, post-operative instructions are provided so patients can reduce the potential for discomfort. Our team gives each patient a printed checklist that outlines steps for alleviating pain, such as using an icepack (and how to use it).
After treatment, we’ll also review medications such as antibiotics and painkillers, eating and drinking dos and don’ts, and the need for follow-up appointments.
At Renovo, every team member plays a critical role in patient communication. Each person can help communicate effectively with patients, answer questions, and ease concerns.
For example, our front office team consists of scheduling coordinators and financial coordinators. Patients will speak with both regularly. The scheduling team works with the patients, their general dentist, and, if necessary, their doctors to coordinate care. The financial team explains dental insurance coverage and how to utilize benefits and provides various payment options. They work closely with patients to create a payment plan that works with their budget.
Additionally, dental assistants work side-by-side with our Renovo endodontic specialists. They know what to expect during each procedure and anticipate the dentist’s and patient’s needs. Dental assistants can help answer patient questions due to their vast knowledge, training, and experience.
In dentistry, the pathway to success is paved with trust, understanding, and excellent patient-doctor communication. When there is open communication between patients and practitioners, anxiety, uncertainty, and discomfort are replaced by assurance, confidence, and ease.
Explore the exceptional care our team at Renovo Endodontic Studio provides. Contact us today to learn more about our services.