Explaining the Pros of Adult Orthodontics to Hesitant Patients

In today’s world, more adults are undergoing orthodontics than ever before. Still, there are some individuals who are hesitant about treatment. Some may be concerned about their budget. Others may not want to make the time for it. In addition, many patients mistakenly believe that clear aligner therapy is strictly cosmetic, despite the numerous health and functional benefits of orthodontics.

It’s important to carefully consider the way we, as dental professionals, explain the pros of treatment during consultations. The language we use can have a significant impact on treatment acceptance, not to mention the long-term oral health of our patients.

Be transparent about financing options.

Be sure to let your patients know that many insurance companies now offer partial coverage for braces and clear aligner therapy. Explain that every plan is unique, and that your financial team will be happy to check their benefits on their behalf.

Talk about health and function.

As dental professionals, we know that a misaligned bite can lead to more serious oral health issues. Keep in mind that not all patients realize this. Discuss in detail how crooked, rotated, crowded, or gapped teeth can: 

  • Impede proper chewing function
  • Cause damage to other teeth
  • Make oral hygiene much more difficult
  • Cause TMJ pain
  • Lead to generalized discomfort

Incorporate the Golden Rule.

If you’ve been practicing dentistry for long, you already know that high-quality patient care is a cornerstone of a dental office. That starts with respect. Patients want to feel heard and understood, not merely “listened to” and “talked at”. When you treat individuals the way that you would want to be treated, they are far more likely to trust your recommendations and ultimately return for treatment.

Practice active listening.

It’s difficult to overcome objections when you don’t know what they are. When patients show hesitancy, ask them what worries them the most, listen actively to their concerns, and respond with relevant, reflecting statements.

Tailor your conversation.

There are many reasons why a patient may be hesitant to begin orthodontics. If they’re concerned about the financial aspect of treatment, talk with them about the potential costs of waiting. If they’re concerned about how orthodontic appliances will affect their appearance, talk with them about clear aligners instead of traditional braces.

Use before and after photos.

Nothing sells a product like a visual aid. If your patient is hesitant about what orthodontics can really do for their smile, show them before and after photos of previous cases. Pair these photos with patient testimonials, and this can help make individuals feel more comfortable about pursuing treatment.

Be understanding if they ask for a second opinion.

Some dentists may feel a bit defensive when patients want to seek a second opinion. But if you believe in your work and the treatment you’ve recommended, you have nothing to fear. Second opinions are not a reflection on you as a practitioner. Some patients are just more thorough in their research. Remember that many individuals who seek a second opinion elsewhere still return to their original provider for treatment.

Know when to quit.

Some patients, no matter how convincing you are, simply will not follow through with treatment. Follow the guidelines mentioned above, and know that you have done your absolute best to be transparent. If they ultimately answer “no” to treatment, then focus your time on the patients who show up routinely. 

Contact us to learn more.

If you are a dentist who would like more information or support regarding clear aligner therapy in your practice, check out the Orthosnap Help Center. You can also visit our website to become a provider today.