How to Talk with Patients About Dental Implant Treatment
As you design a process to make a dental implant patient’s journey as smooth as possible, it becomes increasingly important to be able to communicate the problems you’re helping them solve. Helping patients with dental implants isn’t just about the technical details; it’s about the transformation you help them achieve.
Focus on the Transformation Not The Transaction
While we know a patient is technically paying for the implant itself and the service you provide of placing it, what motivates them is the impact of the implant in their life. Implants change lives for the better. That’s why patients want them.
Here are the four pain points patients experience when missing teeth to emphasize when presenting your treatment plan. If you frame your case presentation around overcoming these pain points, you will have a much higher case acceptance rate.
Communicate Psychological Benefits
When an adult loses some of their permanent teeth, about half of them experience a sense of denial. It takes them time to accept the fact that their teeth are gone.
This may also lead to feelings of resignation and a lack of confidence. It is not uncommon to see someone lose their teeth and then fall into depression.
Missing teeth isn’t just a cosmetic issue; it can drastically affect the mental health of the individual. There is something about a warm, healthy smile that instills worth and confidence into a person. Your treatment can help people regain their confidence and improve their mental health outcomes.
Frame your presentation around the impact getting implants will have on their mental health.
Emphasize Eliminating the Stigma From Missing Teeth
While our culture has made leaps and bounds to become more accepting and inclusive, there is still an unfortunate social stigma attached to missing teeth.
Oftentimes, when someone is missing teeth, others automatically assign negative personality characteristics to them. This can affect things like social relationships, as well as employment and pay.
Because of the stigma, about two-thirds of people missing a tooth avoid eating in public. Most avoid laughing in public. Some actually avoid going out into public altogether.
This means that the transformation you provide can help a patient overcome a stigma and help them in their social life. Consider gently discussing how many patients feel a stigma being lifted when they move forward with dental implants.
Discuss Benefits to Relationships From Dental Implants
In addition to the stigma, many patients missing a tooth avoid forming deep relationships with other people, because they are afraid of what a person will think if they find out about their missing teeth.
About a third avoid letting their romantic partners see them without their dentures in. In our time helping dentists with implant marketing, we have even heard anecdotes of people skipping important events like birthday parties and weddings because of the shame they feel.
This means that the transformation you bring can significantly improve a patient’s interpersonal relationships. Be sure to mention how patients can experience positive impacts on personal, business, and romantic relationships.
Mention the Return to a More Positive Self-Identity With Implants
Perhaps most importantly, missing teeth can damage a patient’s sense of self. When an adult loses a tooth, they often feel like they have lost a part of themselves, forever. Most report that they were not emotionally prepared for the loss.
Most felt like the shape of their face had changed forever, and some began to obsess over the fact. They would try to hide the missing tooth or obsess over their appearance in the mirror.
It makes sense. A person’s smile is one of the first things you notice about them. If a person feels like their smile has been damaged forever, then their sense of identity is destabilized.
You can help them restore a sense of identity with dental implants. Talk with them about how many patients experience a return to their sense of self after getting implants.
If you demonstrate your knowledge of the problems that the person has, and demonstrate your ability to solve them, it will send your case acceptance rate through the roof. People want to know that you understand the pain their problem is causing them, and you can help them take hold of a solution. Don’t shy away from talking about the transformation that dental implants can bring.
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