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.
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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