Growing your Dental Practice with these Communication TipsNov 22, 2023
Michael Sonick DMD
Have you ever thought about how sharing a personal story can transform a patient's experience in a dental chair? As a dentist, my day-to-day interactions aren't limited to teeth; they're deeply rooted in the stories of the individuals who own them. My journey in realizing this began with a childhood incident that I frequently recount to my patients.
At the age of eight, I experienced a traumatic bicycle accident that resulted in losing my front teeth. This event was not just physically painful but also emotionally scarring. When I share this story with my patients, it does something remarkable. It allows me to demonstrate empathy, show vulnerability, and most importantly, build trust.
Why is trust so vital in a patient-doctor relationship? It's simple. Trust encourages patients to understand and embrace the treatments that are in their best interest. Trust is the cornerstone of any patient-doctor relationship. While cold facts and figures often fail to make an impact, a story can touch the heart.
Our emotional responses are largely governed by the amygdala, a part of our brain that processes emotions. Sharing personal experiences engages this part of the brain, fostering a connection that transcends clinical procedures.
In my practice, I've found that when patients feel understood and related to, they're more relaxed and cooperative. My bicycle accident story isn't just a tale of a mishap; it's a tool that helps me connect with my patients on a deeper level. It shows them that I'm not just a dentist, but also a human being who has faced challenges and understands pain and fear.