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Don't fry their brains: Part 2

Nov. 1, 2010
In last month's captivating Don't Fry Their Brains: Part I column, you learned how to simplify patients' understanding of your comprehensive care by compartmentalizing it into four areas - periodontal, restorative, replacement, and cosmetic.

by Nate Booth, DDS

For more on this topic, go to and search using the following key words: comprehensive case acceptance, don't fry their brains, consequences, Dr. Nate Booth.
In last month's captivating Don't Fry Their Brains: Part I column, you learned how to simplify patients' understanding of your comprehensive care by compartmentalizing it into four areas - periodontal, restorative, replacement, and cosmetic.

This month, you will discover how to present dental care one area at a time. It's easy. Just remember PCSB - Problems, Consequences, Solutions and Benefits.

I worked with Tony Robbins for 10 years. Tony said repeatedly, "People do things for two reasons - to avoid pain, and to gain pleasure. The avoidance of pain is usually the best way to stimulate folks to take action. The yearning for pleasure will point them in the desired direction."

In Comprehensive Case Acceptance, you can harness the power of pain and pleasure with PCSB. Here's an example: When discussing needed care in the restorative area, lead with the pain people want to avoid by showing and telling patients their problems and consequences.


Say, "Leon, you have four big metal fillings that really concern me. One of them has a huge crack. The other three are just plain worn out. Do you see how the edges of the fillings are badly crumbling? These fillings are just problems waiting to happen. There's a very good chance all four have decay under them that we can't see on the X-rays."


"If we don't restore them, the decay will keep progressing and eventually reach the nerves of your teeth. When this happens, the nerves become infected. Then the teeth will need root canals just like the one you had done four years ago."


Now, transition into pleasure by showing and telling Leon your restorative solutions and their benefits. Say, "Leon, there are several ways the four teeth can be restored. You could replace the old fillings with even larger metal or tooth-colored fillings. It is less expensive to do it that way, but it is not a good long-term solution. I recommend four laboratory-processed, tooth-colored onlays and crowns."


"When you choose onlays and crowns, the teeth can be restored to almost 100% of their original strength, and they will look great! Here are some before and after photos showing the improvement."

Here's another example, a short version of how a PCSB replacement dentistry conversation can go:

Problems - "Marcy, I'm worried about your missing molar on the lower left side."

Consequences - "If nothing is done, the bone that used to be around the tooth will keep melting away. The tooth above it will continue to move down, and the teeth on both sides of the space will keep tilting in. This will eventually damage the bite on the whole left side of your mouth and may lead to the loss of more teeth."

Solutions - "Marcy, we could replace the tooth with a fixed bridge, but for you I'd recommend an implant with a crown on it."

Benefits - "This would help preserve the bone that used to be around the tooth, prevent the surrounding teeth from moving into the space, improve your chewing efficiency, and look great. Would you like to see a video of how implants are done?"

We dentists tend to complicate our communication processes with patients. If you feel the urge to over-talk or you see smoke coming out of your patients' ears, take a deep breath and remember PCSB. The fresh air and fresh idea will serve everyone well.

For more information on Dr. Booth's presentations to dental groups, his Comprehensive Case Acceptance in-office coaching program, or his 75-minute, interactive "Yes" System webinar you can attend from the comfort of your home, call (702) 444-1362 or e-mail to [email protected].

Dr. Nate Booth is a speaker, consultant, and author who provides dentists with the information and systems they need to thrive in their dental practices. He is the creator of the in-office, DVD based program, The "Yes" System. For more information, go to, or call (702) 444-1362.

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