Share DE articles with your staff

Aug. 1, 2003
In June, I had the opportunity to speak before a group of dentists and staff about a new and innovative product.

By Joe Blaes

In June, I had the opportunity to speak before a group of dentists and staff about a new and innovative product. After the presentation, several of the staff members came up to ask some questions. I thought the questions would be about the product that I had just presented, but I was wrong. The topic they wanted to discuss was Dental Economics!

This group of staff members wanted to know why their doctors did not pass on their copy of Dental Economics. They pointed out that there are many articles that pertain to staff, as well as the dentist, and they would like to read them. They asked if I would write about this in the magazine and tell dentists to pass the magazine on to everyone in the office. So doctors, take heed. Give the staff a chance to see Dental Economics.

I copy articles all the time and pass them on to my staff to read. The articles and columns that Sandy Roth wrote on communication in the dental office over the past three or four years are outstanding examples of the types of articles that could benefit the people who work with us. Sandy taught us how we must first learn to communicate among ourselves, and then we can learn to communicate better with the people who come to us for care. In my mind, Sandy is probably one of the best at teaching communication in the dental office.

It wasn't until I finally learned how important relationships are to the dental practice that my own practice really began to take off. It was then that I realized that to make all of this work, we need training in the behavioral sciences so that we can become the best that we can be. We (that's me and the people who work with me) sought out teachers to help us learn communication skills and techniques to influence people. With these skills, we could help our patients make informed decisions about their dental care.

We all worked hard and spent a lot of time role-playing before we began to use these new techniques with our patients. We became comfortable with what we learned, and if there was a bump in the road, we knew how to deal with it. Now we could really focus on helping our patients and giving them the best possible care.

I soon discovered that most of my patients had a relationship with at least one of my staff members. At first, this was a blow to my ego. After all, they were coming to see me! I soon got over that when I saw how quickly my team members were able establish rapport and enter into a trusting relationship with our patients.

Then we began assigning patients to a clinical assistant. Patients now became Barb or Rhonda's patients. If we had scheduled significant treatment for one of Barb's patients and Barb was sick on that day, we would reschedule the patient for another day.

If you want to see your practice go to even greater levels, learn to communicate! That includes copying articles from Dental Economics for the team to read or passing the magazine on to them to read. You will be glad you did!

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On another note, how many of you have seen some or all of the "Extreme Makeover" TV series on the ABC network? I would bet that a lot of you have tuned in! Some pretty amazing stuff has been done on the people featured on that program, including the dental treatment they have received. This is not about brushing teeth or using denture cream. This is all about smiles and how to help people look and feel better.

Be sure to watch the episodes during August ... and watch the commercials, too. I think you will be surprised by what you will see. The show airs on Thursday evenings.

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor — e-mail: [email protected]
Toll-free phone number: (866) 274-4500

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