7 ways to promote dental care compliance - DVM
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7 ways to promote dental care compliance
When it comes to client communications about oral health, it's as much how you say it and what you say



Your voice tone, pitch and speed will greatly influence a client's decision. Speak calmly as you would to a good friend, so that clients are able to see their pets' oral disease as you do—a real problem necessitating intervention. Emphasizing the pain and discomfort associated with oral disease is a good place to start. Clients report to us daily on the difference dentistry has made in their pets' lives.

Photo 3: Concerned facial expressions during an oral exam emphasize the importance of the pathology.
Gestures and facial expressions are powerful tools, conveying the magnitude of oral examination findings and need for treatment. Clients need to know the significance of their pets' problems before they can attach a value to treatment. If during an oral examination, you find advanced periodontal disease or discover a fractured tooth with pulp exposure, your facial expression is likely to give away the severity of the condition (Photo 3). Your clients' decisions are likely to be based largely on emotion, so avoid downplaying more minor conditions, and don't hold back on expressing the significance of advanced dental disease.

Eliminate distractions

Children, other pets and cell phones are common exam-room distractions. Being aware of disruptions and having a plan on how to handle them are musts to gain compliance. To control distractions:

  • Don't let the patient be the distraction. There are several ways to prevent pets from jumping or playing while you are explaining the dental problem and treatment recommendations. You may choose to hold the pet so the client can concentrate on the matter at hand or have a technician hold the pet so that the client can focus on you. Smaller pets may do best back in their carriers while the details are discussed. Separating the pet from the client is another effective method if the patient is too large to hold or is excitable.
  • Cell phones are harder to control than bouncy pets. Having a clearly posted cell phone policy in your waiting area and exam rooms may help. Clients can also be politely reminded that calls may be made or received outside before entering the exam room.
  • Use toys to control spirited kids. If you don't have the luxury of having a kiddy corner in your practice, have age-appropriate toys available such as crayons and coloring books. At the beginning of the exam, ask the child to draw a picture of the family and pets.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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