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


Overcome objections

Client objections often stand in the way of performing needed care. If finances are the impediment, then third-party organizations and creative payment plans can help. When anesthesia complications are the main concern, explain that choosing the proper protocol and monitoring for each patient allows the safest anesthesia possible. The need for treatment can be put into perspective by relating the severe pain and progression of disease associated with leaving dental conditions untreated as compared with the small risk of complications associated with anesthesia.

Occasionally, clients do not want to face a pet problem at the time of a visit because of other events in their lives (e.g., car repair, vacation, family, roof leak). If this appears to be the situation, offer to set up another appointment at a more convenient time to address the oral problem. This emphasizes your concern regarding the oral disease, as well your understanding of life's many complications.

Call to action

You must take time to discuss the precise procedures you are recommending. This needs to include what the procedure is, how long the treatment will take, what the expected outcome and anticipated follow-up are, as well as the cost. You also need to outline the ongoing care required to prevent future disease and the commitment and any associated cost. By providing clear and direct information, your client can ask appropriate questions and have any concerns addressed.

Stop talking

During every oral assessment, treatment and prevention visit there comes a time when you have explained everything and the client needs time to process the information. While the client is making a decision, the silence can be deafening. Some of us find it hard to keep quiet at these times, and the urge to continue making the case can be irresistible. I count to 20 to myself to keep from interrupting my client's thoughts. This gives clients time to digest what has been presented. Silence is golden after showing and explaining pathology.


In the medical sense, compliance is a patient's adherence to a recommended course of treatment. By adhering to the tips above, compliance to your dental recommendations will improve, allowing you to provide your client and patient the best care possible.

Dr. Bellows owns Hometown Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic in Weston, Fla. He is a diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College and the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Camilo is the hospital administrator for All Pets Dental in Weston, Fla.


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Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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