In the last year, I've helped 165 people learn to communicate costs of dental treatment whilst treatment planning. One of the consistent themes is the recognition of the emotional price that each dentist has.
This is not perhaps what you are thinking.
When I graduated, I was very poor and one thousand dollars was a lot of money to me. It was also roughly my emotional price.
Your emotional price is the cost of a treatment option or treatment plan where you go from being comfortable and able to discuss it easily, to being uncomfortable and unable to easily talk about it. In your early days it is often similar to the amount of cash you could go and withdraw from the bank immediately in an emergency.
What is yours? At what size does a treatment plan go from being comfortable to uncomfortable. At what size do you start to fidget, look away, feel a slightly tight feeling in your throat as you stumble over the words? $1000? $2000? $5000? $10000? $50000? $100000?
The most common emotional price for people attending Rapid Efficient Treatment Planning is around $5000.
So what happens to you when you go beyond your emotional price?
You know, a tell. A thing that happens in poker that lets the other opponents read their mind. A touch of the face. A twitch of the eye.
When watching a dentist talk about money, the most common signs of discomfort are; breaking eye contact, voice changing pitch, touching face, a sudden change of the cadence of your speech, descent into "ums" and "ahhhhs".
Any of these signs will make you look untrustworthy no matter how worthy the treatment may be. Or more likely, you will just avoid discomfort by only presenting basic treatment plans even if they are not most appropriate.
There is no easy way to overcome emotional price. As you get less poor, you'll naturally get more comfortable with larger amounts. However, like almost anything, practice helps. Practicing being able to speak about larger amounts with a neutral voice, and no tells will improve your ability to talk about appropriate treatment options without steering it to cheap treatments just because they are less scary.
Besides getting wealthier and practicing, just recognising what is happening when you reach a certain figure will help you a lot to continue to speak normally no matter what the potential cost of your treatment is.
Dr Lincoln Harris has been completely focused on excellence and quality from the beginning of his career as a dentist. He established the first private dental practice in Bargara – Harris Dental Boutique in 2000. Since graduation he has trained extensively in Aesthetic Implant Techniques and Full Mouth Rehabilitation to attain immense skill and knowledge. With his vast dental knowledge Dr Harris coaches and trains dentists from all over the world on complex aesthetic dentistry, surgical techniques and business management. Dr Harris is the founder of RIPE. Restorative Implant Practice Excellence: Full Protocol group an international forum of over 70,000 members worldwide. The purpose of the group is to share information and excellence in the dental industry. He has also lectured in multiple cities throughout Australia, North America, Asia, Singapore, United Kingdom and Europe.