What It Takes To Become An Excellent Pediatric Dentist

One of the toughest stories I’ve heard in my career as a dentist for children are ones where pediatric dentists rush, pressure and scare the children and their parents into the dentist’s services. It’s heart-breaking to hear that a dentist, in the interest of maximizing revenue and minimizing time spent per little patient, is to immediately jump and scare parents when their child’s oral health is good and completely well.

As part dentist, part small business owner, I understand the frustration and clamp that we are put under. The trade off between quality and quantity and the revenue we earn is clear. The more patients we see, the more likely we are to find those who are interested in using our services today. The scare-sales tactic on the other hand seems completely unnecessary. Parents are coming into to visit you and not another pediatric dentist because they trust your opinion. To betray that trust so immediately and so strongly I cannot approve. That said, if your business is suffering, here are 2 simple tips on what it takes to become an excellent (and reputable!) pediatric dentist:

  1. Inform and educate instead of sell — although little money has exchanged hands on a patient’s first visit, most patients come in to understand the severity of their child’s oral health. Is it in jeopardy? Is it normal? What is normal exactly? Begin with introducing them to what they should expect and compare it to what they are seeing right now. This builds a connection to reality and your professional opinion. They already trust you. Build on this trust and offer them a realistic expectation and a strong understanding of what’s going on. They are in the dark, guide and educate.
  2. Bad news and good — Cost is always a factor in play. Money simply can’t be ignored. The parents that walk through your doors are hoping all is well. They are also under constraint with feeding their children, taking care of their bills and house, and maintaining the lifestyle they are currently in. Try beginning the conversation with the right idea of where costs lie for their child’s situation. Let them know how much services may cost. Then, elaborate further to let them know the benefits (not so much the pains) that come with the service. You should also take it a step further and educate them on the potential costs down the road if the problem isn’t taken care of today.

Scare tactics work. Short-term. When parents and their neighbors begin picking up the signals, word spreads quickly. Instead, change the way you “sell” into being their “smart” best friend. Educate them on what’s going on and what they are looking at. You build on the trust given to you, and in the long run, build reputation for your practice.

P.S. Did you know we offer early orthodontics for children? Early prevention is key to dental care. By realigning children’s teeth in their early stages of growth, we can prevent future problems that cause a lot of headaches.