This blog post isn’t about unethical care. I find that many doctors are conservative in their recommendations. However, how many times did the tooth you’re watching break? And if the tooth broke, would it have been better for the patient to treat it before the break? How often have you opened up a ‘watched’ area and wished you’d treated it sooner?
The reason we go to work is because our work is meaningful. Yes, this is true, but we also work to earn a living. Secondly, the patients come to you for dental advice, not financial advice.
From a business aspect: Doctor, how much dentistry do you want to do daily, in dollars? I recommend you use a “treatment plan” tracking form as a tool of accountability and follow up. Track the diagnosis/patient per day, in dollars of treatment diagnosed. Track the previously diagnosed dollars of dentistry on this same form. Did the patient schedule? If not, why not?
Assuming ethical diagnosis, the daily rate of diagnosis will vary depending upon the patient’s needs. Doctors, I’d challenge you that the dentistry you’d like to do (from a business perspective) is ethically already in your patient’s mouth.
As an accountability tool for the front desk:
Did the patient refuse to schedule because the previously diagnosed dentistry wasn’t discussed in the back? If the unscheduled patient says, “I need to check my schedule,” or, “I need to think about it” regarding the proposed treatment, invite yourself to make a call, within 3-4 business days. You can then answer any questions the patient or his spouse may have, or schedule the patient who ‘needed to check her schedule.’