Talking to Patients About X-rays
As a dentist, getting patients ready for X-rays can be difficult. Using the right words to talk to your patients about getting these X-rays will increase your success rate with them.
You often hear “Didn’t I just have those?” or “I’m not sure I want X-rays at this time.”
Using logic to defeat an emotional argument won’t work. Instead, empathize with the patient. Agree that X-rays aren’t always a super fun thing to have done, then ask them why they don’t feel comfortable.
Patients often refuse X-rays due to cost or radiation. When it comes to cost, patients may become worked up over not having the insurance to cover it.
Tell them you understand, but it’s important to use X-rays to find a $200 cavity that can turn into a $2000 root canal and crown in the future. Let the patient process this information, then check back in with them on whether or not to move forward with the X-rays.
Most of the time the patient will say yes. This is because you openly shared your “why” and let them know that they are normal for having these precautions.
Some patients are more concerned over the radiation issue. Again, sympathize with them and say something like “I get it, I don’t want these extra radiation waves either,” but then inform the patient that these X-rays have a very minimal amount of radiation waves. The amount of radiation is less than traveling on an airplane, or laying out in the sun.
“Using logic to defeat an emotional argument won’t work. Instead, empathize with the patient.”
Inform them that you only take what X-rays you need, checking in on everything to catch anything before it becomes a larger problem.
At Dental Nachos, we strive to make your life as a dentist easier. Use our tips and watch as your dental career becomes less stressful and you become a happier person.
Our focus is to help you with clinical content, talking to patients, project management and more.
With our new program Nacho-Flix, we offer videos where you can learn different tips and techniques just like this. It’s filled with CE courses, interviews with industry leaders, and patient communication strategies. We invite you to check it out and see how much amazing content on practice management, clinical CE and patient communication tips you will have access to.