OperaDDS Blog

December 29, 2016

The Valuable Art of Creating a Dentist Patient Relationship

dentist patient relationship.jpgThe dentist patient relationship is absolutely essential to establishing trust and loyalty with your patients.  For the most part, your patients have no way to judge your clinical skills and may not know what all of those diplomas hanging on the wall really mean.  But they can judge the relationship they have with you and your team.

So how can your dental practice differ from everyone else?  How can you ensure keeping your current patient base and continue to add patients?  Building and maintaining a solid dentist patient relationship.   

How to Cultivate & Create the Ideal Dentist Patient Relationship


One of the best ways you can build trust in your dentist patient relationship is to cultivate empathy in you and your team.  Research from the Journal of Dental Education shows that empathy is crucial to helping professionals like dentistry.  It’s important to actively communicate with patients, involve them in decision making about their care and do your best to put yourself in their place. You can empathize with your patients by saying, “I’m sorry”.  It’s one of the simplest yet most powerful was to build trust and a relationship.  

Connect & Engage

Set yourself apart by learning the valuable art of connecting with people.  Whenever you greet your patient, smile, shake hands, make eye contact and ask a question. When asking a question like, “How is your day going?” retain eye contact while the patient answers.  Many employees will look away and move to their next task or question which will send a message to the patient that you don’t care.  

Try including words in your conversation like fantastic, excellent and great.  Also keep in mind that your energy creates trust.  Think about the last time you listened to somebody with high energy versus someone with zero energy.  You’re much more likely to trust the person with high energy because it appears they passionately believe in what he or she is saying. It only takes a few moments to be friendly and believable.  Use those moments wisely.  

Strengthen Communication

How you communicate with your patients can make or break your success in the dental field.  Always communicate your goals about their oral health to help determine the best treatment option.  The way you educate patients will help build their trust in you.  Cast aside the image of the dentist as the all-knowing entity and instead take on the role of mentor or coach.  Dental Economics shares some stellar tips on how to communicate better and faster with your dental patients. You can communicate guidance that will empower the patient to participate in decisions affecting their own care.  We have 4 dental barriers to communication in healthcare that you can avoid at all costs!

Remember these simple tips to build the dentist patient relationship.  How are you cultivating the relationships that you have with your patients?

Effective communication is a critical component to running a successful dental practice. Is your practice's communication slowing you down? Download our Checklist to learn how to build powerful communication.