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Interacting with dental patients

Interacting with dental patients

Your staff must, at all times, remain level headed, polite and positive in all patient dealings, whether the patient is right or wrong. 

If the patient is wrong, you can correct them and work it out in a polite, professional way. It is not necessary to be rude, uncaring, angry, etc.

That approach only upsets patients and makes it more difficult to get situations resolved. In addition, not only does it reflect poorly on your own professionalism but on your dental office as a whole.

You will sometimes come in contact with patients who are upset about their accounts. Usually, these situations can be handled by:

1. Setting up a time to really sit, listen and talk to the patient regarding his/her situation.

2. Having all the facts (account data, chart, dental insurance information, etc.).

3. Being willing to explain the problem to the patient. These steps, coupled with a caring, professional and helpful attitude are a sure fire way to get any "problem account" handled.

4. Never argue or tell the patient they are wrong, even if they ARE. It will only make matters worse. If anything, tell the patient, “I can certainly understand why you’re upset Mr. Jones, I would be upset too if that happened to me. If you’re willing to work with me, I think we can sort this out, does that sound agreeable to you?”


Kevin Tighe, Cambridge Dental Consultants, Senior Consultant, got bitten hard by the business and marketing bug during long summer days working at his dad's Madison Avenue ad agency. After joining Cambridge as a speaker in the mid-1990s, Kevin went on to become Cambridge’s senior consultant and eventually CEO. Cambridge Dental Consultants is a full-service dental practice management company offering customized dental office manuals. Frustrated? High overhead? Schedule a chat with Kevin at 

Dental office patient financial policy
Dental patient Information