Big Dental Case Presentation – Part 3


Big Dental Case Presentation: The Power of Questions

Jenn Janicki has evaluated best practices from over 130 dental offices that get large case treatment plan acceptance. Part 3 of this series, takes a look at behavioral science and what motivates people to make the decision for treatment.

“Understanding what motivates a patient is fundamental to leading the conversation in the direction of a YES to treatment plans. It’s critical to get an understanding of their WHY to do treatment.”


Is Behavioral Science Important in Dental Case Acceptance?

A behavioral science approach in dentistry is often used to maximize effective communication. Behavioral science draws from areas of science including psychology, sociology, neuroscience, and cognitive science to understand motivation, perception, and intention or attitude.

“Understanding what a patient’s goals are won’t necessarily change your treatment plan. Instead, it helps you develop the “language” in which you will present it.”


Before you can communicate the HOW of your recommended treatment you must communicate WHY they need treatment.

“Many times, dentists make the mistake of showing, telling, and explaining what they are going to do to fix the problem, before getting to WHY someone would move forward with treatment.”

Start by asking your patient intentional questions like:

  • What’s most important to you about your teeth?
  • What’s been the nature of your past dental experiences?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best, how would you rate the teeth or smile?
  • What needs to happen for it to be a 10?

“Remember, the questions you ASK are infinitely more important than the answers you SAY. However, relying on some key phrases that you’re comfortable with can help move a treatment conversation toward asking for a commitment.”

The first step in understanding the patient’s motivation and concerns, the next step is to interpret the patient’s perspective from their answers.

For more powerful questions and to discover what the patient’s responses are really communicating, be sure to access Clinical Mastery Series Big Case Presentation – Part 3 in full.

Stay up to date on each installment of the Big Dental Case Presentation series.

Clinical Mastery created this series for two levels of clinicians.
“It is a resource for clinicians who have a high level of clinical training and confidence, but have not yet created a strategy for attracting comprehensively driven dental patients. And especially for those who have studied the psychology about what motivates people to make great dental treatment decisions.”

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