"Selling" the Treatment Plan

How to get better patient acceptance with your treatment plan presentations.
"Selling" the Treatment Plan
Photo by Accuray / Unsplash

You hear all the time that many dentists hate the idea of "selling" the treatment plan to the patient so they can get the treatment they "need" to improve their oral health. In reality, there is a "selling" component to it all, but to get better patient acceptance, you cannot come off as a typical cars salesman. Remember, many patients distrust the dentist and are skeptical on treatment. Here are some tips to present treatment plans and gain better patient acceptance.

Connect with the Patient

Probably the most important step. Find out what the patient values and what their goals are. Some patients don't care for class I occlusion, and many patients don't care to replace all their missing teeth with implants. Give the patient the option, but if they aren't on board with it, move on to the next best option which is optimized for their goals, finances, and priority.


Try to avoid saying stuff like "you need a crown" or "you need a root canal". You don't want to sell what you're going to do to them, but rather focus on what you're going to do for them: eliminate pain, prevent X, improve Y, save Z, etc. This alone will help you clarify the "why" and reasoning behind the procedure.

Intraoral Camera

The secret sauce. A picture is worth a thousand words. Stop talking about the fracture, the large leaky amalgam, or massive decay on those 2nd molars, and just show them. Intraoral photos help the patient visualize what's going on, builds trust, and may emphasize the importance of getting timely treatment. This is one of the best tools to communicate with patients.


Simplify your explanation of treatment. Practice and rehearse by yourself or with others when you explain what a Valplast partial is or what a root canal is. Do you over-explain and confuse the patient? A lot of new grads tend to over-elaborate the treatment which can cause confusion and drop in confidence with the patient. Once you simplify your explanation, remember to again focus on what that treatment will do for the patient.

Treatment planning presentation is one of the most important skills to have and is something every dentist should continue to try to improve. Got any tips for Tx plan presentation? Share it in the comments below!

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