Dentists Love These 9 Types of Patients
The No Pain Patient
This patient is a blessing from the very start. Not only is their neck extremely flexible, but their TMJ is in top form. When you say open wide, they open wide. However, the moment when this patient goes straight into your short list of top patients to treat ever is when you realise, they don’t feel any discomfort during treatment. Whether it’s subgingival debridement or a quick BPE, this patient doesn’t need special care – they just let you get on with it. Even when it comes to a quick filling or extraction, this patient doesn’t wince. They understand you’re a dentist & need to get on with being a dentist, no strings attached.
A dentist with this type of patient is the envy of every single clinician around. From the doctor across the street to the optometrist round the corner. When they see this patient walk into your clinic with a bouquet of flowers, bottle of tesco’s finest & box of chocolates which could feed your family for a week, who can blame them for their jealousy? Even if this patient makes a bit of a fuss, talks a bit too much or is indecisive about their treatment, it’s all worth it in the end when they walk through your door at the end of a long day with a smile on their face. It’s Christmas come early!
The Chatty Patient
Just as every barber has that customer who doesn’t stop talking, dentists have that patient who won’t stop opening wide… to talk. The chatty patient is both a blessing and a curse for dentists. They’re extremely pleasant and easy to build rapport with. When it comes to taking a history, they provide a comprehensive history for sure. However, very quickly it gets to crunch time. You have to have a look inside their mouth. Which is extremely difficult if they’re still trying to talk.
The Shy One
On the converse, the shy patient can provide momentary solace to you. You can catch up on your notes and take time to quickly recharge your small talk battery. Shy patients are usually hassle free, except when they’re desperate for a rinse but don’t tell you! There’s only one big issue – history taking. This is where practice makes perfect. For newly qualified dentists, don’t worry. What happened to the half an hour medical history you used to take as a student? Time to rehone those skills.
The Compliant Patient
This patient might tell you about the slight discomfort you’re causing them. I mean, they aren’t a No Pain Patient. However, due to their active affinity to actually following instructions given by the dentist, they make it into the list. When you advise this patient to floss, they turn up next time having flossed. If you tell them to open wider, they definitely put the effort in and comply. Compliant patients are usually & hassle-free and… patient. 😂
The Secretive Patient
A new patient rocks up, they’re wearing a perfectly fitted three-piece suit & briefcase to match. As they walk into reception, their eyes are glued to their phones, thumbs moving quickly. Within five minutes, their phone rings and business terms you barely understand are thrown out in a stressful conversation. When the patient finally sits on the chair and you ask them what they do they answer in vague terms. Was this patient sent by the CQC or the Kremlin?
The Exaggerative Patient
“So, how would you rate the pain out of 10?”
“I said out of 10 sir.”
Interested in Dentistry
This patient is either a relative of a dentist, wants to be a dentist or just has an intense fascination with your job. They ask about every bur, instrument or procedure possible and ask if they can use their garage tools to modify their existing denture! Their appointment with you can go either way – extremely well or extremely badly. Let’s hope luck is in your favour today.
The Attractive Patient
After a long morning denture clinics a healthy young adult walks into your clinic. Maybe they’re a model or celebrity? You ask them about their diet and they explain raw-food, no-carb, gluten-free diet. It’s why their skin is glowing! Nevertheless, the best part is.. they have all their teeth!