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Dawson Quick Tip: Increasing Case Acceptance with Mindset Shift

How to Easily Increase Dental Case AcceptanceThe first step in increasing case acceptance is to think optimum oral health and to talk optimum oral health.

All too often in our practices, we start listening to patient's complaints and we get focused on a single, solitary, individual problem. And while that may be very important to the patient, we have to be mindful that there's a bigger picture going on; a system that involves the temporomandibular joints, the muscles, the teeth, and all the supporting structures.

It is incumbent upon us first and foremost to understand what a healthy environment looks like.

Pristinely healthy tissue where the sulcuses of every tooth can be cleaned by the patient. That means we can only be living with a two to three millimeter pocket. That every tooth is cleansible, that we can clean the restoration. So there's not overhangs or gaps or cracks in teeth where bacteria can get in.

Then when we look at the teeth themselves. We look to make sure there's no wear, there's no loose teeth, there's not teeth that are migrating, there's not sore musculature or temporomandibular joint problems.

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The first thing we have to understand is that if we can visualize what an optimum healthy situation looks like, then we can start developing the communication skills to be able to communicate with the patient in a way that they can start to understand it. And so with this optimum health look in our mind's eye, we can then start to communicate with patients by showing them first what health is, and then showing maybe another part of their mouth that departs from health.

We'll talk about each one of these things in our future quick tip sessions in some detail, but a great way to start thinking about this is just thinking about a perio pocket. If you can find some part of a patient's mouth that has a perfectly probeable healthy tissue that's tight against the teeth with no recession, and show them what that looks like - with just a mirror or maybe a photograph - and then contrast that to a part of their mouth that's diseased, patients now have a context of how they depart from health and it's very logical for them to want to fix it.

The first thing I would tell you to do, as you start on this quest of increasing case acceptance, is to understand that you are the keeper of the standard in your practice.

You have to be the one to say, "We're going to hold patient's health to the highest possible standard." That means that we've got to study and really understand what optimum health is from a periodontal standpoint, a restorative standpoint, an occlusion standpoint, a temporomandibular joint standpoint, and maybe even an aesthetic standpoint.

If you start holding that standard and communicating with patients what that standard is, you're going to find more and more patients drawn to a solution that will provide them with optimum care.

Good luck.

Attritional Wear

John C. Cranham, DDS has an esthetic oriented practice in Chesapeake, Virginia. An honors graduate of the Medical College of Virginia in 1988, Dr. Cranham maintains a strong relationship with his alma mater as an Associate Clinical Professor. He is an internationally recognized speaker on the Esthetic Principles of Dentistry, Contemporary Occlusal Concepts, Treatment Planning, Restoration Selection, Digital Photography, Laboratory Communication, and Happiness and Fulfillment in dentistry. As a published author, Dr. Cranham has a strong commitment to developing sound educational programs that exceed the needs of today’s dental professional. He is an active member of numerous professional organizations including the American Dental Association, The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, The American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, and The American Equilibration Society. Dr. Cranham is co-chair of Advanstar Dental Media’s CE Advisory Board (Advanstar is the publisher of Dental Products Report). Dr. Cranham is the Clinical Director of The Dawson Academy where he is involved with many of the lecture and hands-on courses within the curriculum. As an active educator, he has provided over 650 days of continuing education for dental professionals throughout the world.