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Practice Production, Prioritized: The Power of Three

April 30, 2024
Dr. Levin shares his technique for cutting through the clutter when it comes to patient communication.

In the world of communication, there are endless recommendations to improve your effectiveness in influencing others. We want people to follow our instructions, like our opinions, agree with us, or at least know where we stand. In dentistry, communication is much more about having a patient accept treatment and feel positive about that decision.

A simple technique that breaks through the clutter and helps dentists communicate is one I have termed “The Power of Three.” The Power of Three outlines the top three benefits of the service you are recommending to patients, then covers those three benefits three times.

Breaking it down

The fact is, many dentists do not have a case presentation strategy. They just tell the patient whatever they have to say, and they hope they make the right decision. However, patients are people with real lives and need to consider a myriad of factors, including the complexity of the case, time involved, postoperative pain, and cost. So, patients need to be guided in their decisions. In fact, influencing patients to make decisions that are in their best interest and help them move toward optimal oral health is an extremely positive aspect of being a dental practice leader. This is not about manipulation; it is about helping patients truly understand what is in their best interest so they can make a rational decision.

When you focus on the top three benefits of each of your recommendations and cover those benefits three times, everything becomes clear to the patient. It has been observed that the human mind can more easily absorb any type of information presented to them when it is grouped into threes. If they hear it once, they may get it. If they hear it twice, they will probably get it. If they hear it three times, they will definitely get it.

Remember, your patient is thinking while you are talking. I have always believed that many patients are about 10–15 seconds behind whatever you are saying during the case presentation. For example, while you may be talking about the biological factors of treatment, they are trying to decide if they want to inconvenience themselves or leave work. Also, often before you have even told them the fee, they are trying to decide if it is worth the cost. By focusing on the top three benefits, you simplify their ability to understand why treatment is so important. Additionally, by repeating the benefits three times, you clarify exactly what you are saying and give them a chance to catch up and reflect on what they might have already missed.

Providing clarity

Case presentation is both an art and a science, and the Power of Three is part of the science. By simply reviewing the top three benefits of each service three times you will improve case acceptance almost immediately. Best of all, this strategy gives patients comfort and confidence in both you and the recommended treatment.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the April 2024 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.


Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and founder of Levin Group, has worked with more than 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and more than 4,000 articles, and regularly presents seminars in the US and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit levingroup.com or email rlevin@ levingroup.com.

About the Author

Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and founder of Levin Group

Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and founder of Levin Group, has worked with more than 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and more than 4,000 articles, and regularly presents seminars in the US and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit levingroup.com or email [email protected].

Updated January 23, 2024

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