Treating Dental Patients With Special Needs

dental patients with special needsDental patients with special needs are people with medical, physical, psychological or social circumstances that require a change in the normal routine. In the field of dentistry, a patient with special needs will require change in regular dental approaches.

Dental patients with special needs can include aging and elderly people, individuals with mobility issues, mentally disabled individuals, people with compromised immune systems or complex medical problems, people with mental illnesses, and children with behavioral or emotional conditions.  Many patients in these categories have higher rates of poor oral hygiene and may be at higher risk of gum disease and cavities.

Dentists that treat patients with special needs will need to be more accommodating. They will need flexible appointment scheduling, possibly more assistants for the exams, and knowledge of medical, physical, mental or behavioral conditions.

Dentistry For Patients With Special Needs|Consumer Guide To Dentistry

I Want To Be A Dental Assistant

dental assistantA job as a dental assistant is interesting and rewarding. There are some skills that are important to have if you want to be a dental assistant. Dental assistants help the dentist with patients on a daily basis so they must have excellent customer service skills and enjoy working with the public. A dental assistant should possess good communication skills and enjoy using their hands and minds to accomplish tasks.

Some tasks that are completed by dental assistants each day are taking x-rays, taking patient history, take patients’ blood pressure and help the patient feel comfortable before, during and after dental procedures. A dental assistant will be required to use a variety of dental equipment and office equipment during a patient’s visit.

If you are interested in becoming a dental assistant you will need to attend community college or vocational school. Some programs are short term and require only nine to 11 months of study. Be sure to attend a school that is accredited.

Which Skills Are Needed For Dental Assistant Jobs|Wise Geek

10 Things Patients Want From Their Dentist

things patients want from their dentistIf you own a dental practice, you may be wondering what do patients want from their dentist?  Well most of you have probably been dental patients at some time in your life so you probably have some idea.  But in an article from Lisa Newburger, Dentistry IQ, she lists 10 things that patients want from a dental practice.  Hopefully you are already doing some of these things.

  1. A Keurig or other type of coffee machine for patient use.  Don’t hog all the coffee for you and your staff.  Have a coffee and other beverages available for your patients while they wait.
  2. Be a dentist who runs on time. Most people are taking time out of work or other important things in their day to come to the dentist.  The last thing they want is to be waiting forever for you.  If you are running behind, be sure to call the patient and let them know.  This way they can get other things done they need to before coming in to wait.
  3. Have friendly staff. Observe your front office people and be sure that the way they are treating the patients is how you would have them treated. They are the first people that your patients come in contact with and you want to be sure that they make a good first impression.

Read more here: 10 things patients want from a dental practice – DentistryIQ.

Dental Marketing Mistakes

This You Tube video comes from the Freedom Fast Track.  In a meeting with Steffany Mohan, they discuss some of the dental marketing mistakes that many dentists are making.  These mistakes can cause lost patients and ultimately lost profits.

Some things that dentists don’t often do is getting to know their clients personally.  This helps dentists relate to their patients and build relationships with them.  Another mistake is that dentists aren’t marketing their niche.  If they offer Invisalign, they need to market around this.

Check out the video below to find out what dental marketing mistakes you may be making and how you can improve your marketing efforts.

How To Contact Patients

contact pateintsKnowing how your patients prefer to be contacted can be very helpful in gaining and keeping those patients. How and when you contact patients for things like appointment reminders or scheduling actually does matter to those patients.  So how do your patients prefer to be contacted?

Some market research was conducted and the findings were not too surprising for this day and age.  The greatest percentage of dental patients surveyed (30%) preferred to be contacted by text message. Other findings: Most patients over 34 prefer receiving appointment reminders by email and the age group of 35-54 preferred scheduling appointments online or through text message. Patients prefer these forms of contact because they are usually easier to respond and they don’t have to stick to business hours.

There are still some old fashioned preferences. Sixty percent of patients prefer to schedule their next appointment while still at the dentist’s office. And the majority of patients prefer to receive reminders one to three days before the appointment, as any sooner than that they forget.

Missed appointments are a pain in the neck for dental practices, so it is important that you are contacting your patients they’re preferred way.  It is a good idea for your dental office to use software that allows the office to customize reminder time frames based on patient preference.

Survey says….How Dental Patients Prefer To Be Contacted|DentistryIQ