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The Role of a Dental Assistant in Case Acceptance

August 10, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — dentalassisting @ 11:43 pm
dental assistant helping with case acceptance

When you become a dental assistant, you’ll be doing much more than just helping the dentist care for teeth. You’ll work closely with your patients to establish a reliable relationship and help them learn more about their oral health. In fact, how you perform as a dental assistant can play a big role in whether or not a patient chooses to move forward with their recommended treatment plan. Read on to learn more about how a dental assistant influences case acceptance.

Why Wouldn’t a Patient Move Forward with a Treatment?

Truthfully, there is a long list of reasons why any individual may not choose the dental treatment that’s recommended to them. As a dental assistant, you should strive to find out why! Then, you may be able to do something to alleviate their specific concerns. Sometimes you may never find out or it may be too personal. However, many times, you can make the patient feel comfortable enough to tell you what’s really going on.

Patients will often turn down treatment plans simply because they don’t fully understand them or why they’re important. Perhaps they have questions that they’re too nervous to ask the dentist or unfounded (but common) fears about the treatment. It could be as simple as a miscommunication about treatment length or estimated cost. Whatever the cause, you can take the initiative to address the problem, either via more information, alternative solutions, or feedback for the dentist.

How to Increase Case Acceptance as a Dental Assistant

Training to become a dental assistant will help you learn all the soft skills you need to take a compassionate and caring approach to patients who are fearful or doubtful. In practice, you’ll become a sort of liaison between the dentist’s clinical nature and the patient’s layman’s knowledge of oral health. Here are a few of the most important ways you can help increase case acceptance as a dental assistant:

  • Simplify information: A dentist is used to talking with certain terms that a patient may not be familiar with. You can answer your patient’s questions with easy-to-understand answers.
  • Listen without judgement: It’s important that you don’t view a patient’s hesitancy negatively. You need to show them that you hear and understand their thoughts and concerns. When a patient feels seen, they’ll be more likely to absorb the information you tell them.
  • Schedule their appointment: Even if your patient isn’t sure about their treatment, it’s best to schedule them before they leave. It’s better to have them on the books in a few weeks rather than leaving it up to them to remember to call back.
  • Identify fear points: Many patients are afraid of the dentist, but won’t admit so even to themselves. When you listen carefully, you’ll be able to deduce what fears may be keeping them from moving forward with treatment and offer solutions.
  • Explain expenses: Another one of the most common reasons patients turn down needed care is the potential cost. While this is a concern that you won’t always be able to do something about, you can take the time to explain the typical dental insurance coverage for that particular treatment as well as alternative ways to pay (such as CareCredit).

As a dental assistant, you’ll play a key role in the success of whichever practice you work with. You’ll enjoy a truly rewarding and meaningful career as you connect with your patients and make a positive difference in their care.

About the Practice

Ready for a new in-demand and meaningful job? At A-Z School of Dental Assisting and Front Office, our team of educators can help you become a dental assistant in just a few weeks! Our expert-led classes have an average of six students, and our program covers everything you need to know to thrive in your new career. To learn more about becoming a dental assistant, feel free to reach us online or at (480) 457-8330.

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