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4 Tough Dental Questions Your Patients May Ask

As an experienced hygienist, you likely receive dozens of dental questions from patients every day. Learning how to respond honestly and professionally can help you boost your patient relationships.

Dental Intelligence


May 4, 2023

Answering tough dental questions with accurate information is essential for optimizing patient compliance and treatment. If your patients develop sensitive teeth or bad breath, they may ask for quick solutions to alleviate pain or embarrassment. You can enhance their in-office experience by providing effective communication during every interaction.

Tools like our 2-Way Communication can help you respond to all your patients’ concerns, but it’s important to first understand what those concerns are. Consider four of the most common dental questions your patients may ask.

How Much Money Will This Treatment Cost?

In today’s world, many patients struggle with financial anxiety. Some neglect routine examinations because they worry it may cost them too much. Hence, you may need to discuss service prices before scheduling them for an appointment.

It’s a good idea to create a transparent pricing policy for your dental practice. This way, you can refer to specific information when patients ask.

For example, suppose a patient asks how much they should expect to pay for a cavity filling. The answer may not be straightforward, depending on the fillings you offer. Silver amalgam fillings typically cost between $50 to $150, while white composites can cost up to $250. Offering your patients multiple options corresponding to their budget limitations may encourage them to commit to a treatment.

Patients without insurance may ask about financing options. In this case, it may be a good idea to provide a link to recommendations via email. This method allows your patients to review options and choose a suitable solution at their own pace.

What’s Wrong with My Teeth?

Many patients struggle to maintain adequate oral health routines. Consequently, tooth decay and gum disease can develop over time. When a patient asks what’s wrong with their teeth, you should be ready to deliver bad news.

It’s important to maintain professionalism when discussing one’s oral condition. Passing judgment can lead to unhappy patients and may hurt your business. Sometimes, this behavior may even result in negative reviews online.

Discuss their lifestyle habits and help them identify issues that may have contributed to tooth decay. Common problems typically include poor diet and improper tooth brushing techniques. 

Offer to schedule them for practical treatments as soon as possible, like cavity fillings or veneers. 

What Should I Do if My Child Has Cavities?

Parents should schedule dental examinations for their children as soon as they develop their first adult teeth. Failure to do so can result in early tooth decay.

Still, genetics can cause some children to develop cavities, despite maintaining proper oral hygiene. It might be challenging to calm down worried parents when they ask dental questions like, “Does my child need a tooth filling?” However, a confident response will encourage parents to act quickly and ensure that their child gets the care they need.

Provide a comprehensive Treatment Plan so they know what to expect during their child’s appointment. You can review anesthetic options, X-rays, and other essential information for the best results.

Also, learn how to communicate with younger patients effectively. They may not understand every detail of the procedure, but they still deserve your time and attention when they have concerns.

Why Do My Gums Hurt?

Gingivitis affects millions of Americans every year. Side effects include soreness, bleeding, and receding gums. Despite this highly treatable condition being common, it may surprise many of your patients when they receive a positive diagnosis.

Let your patients know that ignoring gingivitis for too long can result in tooth loss and painful infections. Craft an email detailing at-home treatments they can use to reverse gingivitis before it causes too much damage. For example, you could create infographics demonstrating the proper brushing and flossing techniques. 

Help Your Patients Understand Treatment with Digital Communication Tools

Taking the time to answer every dental question may feel like a drain on your office resources, depending on how many patients you serve. Deploying tools to streamline your efforts will eliminate the stress. 

At Dental Intelligence, we make delivering outstanding dental customer service easy with our digital office-management products. Integrate your over-the-phone and online outreach strategies with our 2-Way Communication solutions. These tools allow your staff to answer patient questions in real-time, reducing service delays, and improving patient satisfaction. Schedule a demo today to see how we can help you intelligently shape the future of your practice.

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