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Increasing client compliance for veterinary dentistry

Forty percent of people learn best by hearing the information presented to them. Many of us rely on verbal messages in the exam room as the sole means of communication. In so doing we fail to effectively reach the other 60% of clients that learn best by visual means. Digital cameras are a means to maximize contact with this population. This presentation will cover some of the techniques that can be used with digital imaging to educate our clients thus increasing compliance for dental procedures.

Introducing digital imaging into the practice has become more practical over the last several years. Many people use digital cameras for everyday photography and it is fast taking the market share in the leisure camera industry. At present digital cameras are reasonably inexpensive.. A computer or television and a color printer are all that is needed to round out the equipment list needed to effectively communicate to clients digitally. Once the practitioner is comfortable with camera functions and software, options exist to send detailed images online for specialist review on individual cases.

Knowing what to look for in a digital camera for intraoral photography is paramount in choosing the right functions to maximize the final image. Camera specifications and options will be briefly discussed. Advantages and disadvantages will be briefly discussed to enable the practitioner to choose a starter camera or to upgrade his/her existing system.

Pictures provide a powerful means of getting the point across in any communication interchange. The great salesmen of the day would not dream of making a pitch to a potential account without the aid of graphics to demonstrate their product. To be more successful in the exam room we must follow the lead of the professional salesman and utilize pictures at every opportunity. Examples of images used to explain subjects such as pain, missing teeth, fractured teeth, periodontal disease, malocclusions and discolored teeth will be presented and discussed.

The exam room is not the only place where digital imagery can be a valuable aid in gaining client compliance in dentistry. Boarding, grooming and drop-off pets all are excellent opportunities to examine patients and evaluate for oral problems. Examples of personalized digital handouts for these patients will be reviewed.

A good sales effort of any type has the buyer leaving with a sense of satisfaction that they made the right decision. To increase the perception of value with dentistry we must show the client what they paid for. Personalized surgical summary sheets accomplish this goal.

A variety of photo editing software is available for producing quality digital handouts that can be produced very quickly and easily. A brief discussion will complete the lecture.

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