A successful new patient exam is an opportunity to start developing a long and productive relationship. It may feel like a hassle, especially when you have complex cases already on the schedule, but it’s worth every second.
If you think of the exam as laying the groundwork for a mutually beneficial partnership to benefit the patient’s health, you will come across far more engaged. This might be the most significant aspect of the entire experience. It’s all about first impressions when it comes to how a patient perceives your dentistry.
Likely, the patient will be nervous and apprehensive. That’s why you need to do your best to make them comfortable while gathering the necessary diagnostic information to provide quality care moving forward.
Here’s what you must include to get the patient exam perfect:
4 Qualities of a Successful New Patient Exam
From a broad perspective, new patient exams are composed of two major components: the pre-clinical interview and the diagnostic portion. Of course, you can’t proceed with treatment in the future unless you first clearly understand their goals and desires for their dental health.
The patient might have a hard time communicating these to you at first. You’ll have to listen carefully and give them the space to open up about their hopes and expectations.
Next, make sure to carry out an assessment of functional risk factors, including joint exam, muscle exam, and occlusion exam. These cover all the bases so you understand any interventions that may be essential prior to restorative work.
Third, it isn’t a bad idea at all to review any systemic issues regarding their health, which could involve airway, apnea, and breathing. Finally, make sure you share the possibilities dentistry has to offer them. If they don’t know what’s in store, they can’t develop excitement about the idea of dental care!
What’s your number one tip for a successful new patient exam? Let us know your thoughts!