Negativity is rarely a good thing. Yet there is a situation when many people slip into it at the dental office.
Imagine that someone is presenting with sensitivity on a crown they had done by a dentist in another town just a year ago. Your exam shows that the thing fits like boots on a rooster and there is already some recurrent decay.
Or a new patient comes in for an exam and you have to talk to them about their poor periodontal condition – but unfortunately they had an exam six months ago from a dentist who didn’t even own a perio probe and told them “everything looks fine!”
Our knee-jerk defense mechanism is to tell them the crown was not done correctly or their former dentist couldn’t tell periodontal disease from an ingrown toenail. But don’t do it!! There is a good chance they loved their previous dentist, and besides – you weren’t there when the crown was done or the perio exam performed.
Trashing another dentist is like negative campaigning – it makes everyone look bad.
A great line to use is:
“I can’t tell you what the situation was when that crown was placed (or that examination performed) – I can only tell you exactly what I see today.”
Repeat if necessary. Broken record. Ad nauseum. Whatever it takes to get the message through. Just don’t slip into negativity. And then turn things around with the killer statement:
“The good news is, I know what the problem is and I can take care of it!”
It works, and you look like the hero!