One of the most difficult things in human relations is convincing the pessimist they need something (including good dentistry).
Many patients have experienced failure with their past treatments and have privately given up hope that anything can be successful. This is the reason they do not follow our recommendations for optimum treatment. They basically have decided that dental disease has a grip on them, that it is going to get worse and that nothing can be done about it anyway.
You can usually tell they are in this somewhat apathetic state because they will make statements like these: "My teeth won't hold fillings." "They did surgery on my gums, but it didn't work." "I might as well just get it out because I'm going to lose it anyway." Or, "My gums bleed no matter what I do." If we respond to these "fixed" ideas with an air of confidence and authoritative attitude, or promise them the moon, we will not be believable to them. It will be too positive for such a negative attitude.
Have you ever had someone come to you for advice about a problem they had and could not figure out what their next move should be? Their solution seemed so simple that you laid it out on a silver platter for them, but they would not take your advice which could easily solve their dilemma. It seemed as though they did not want a solution to their problem or they did not believe you. Also, they might have thought their problem was too complicated, and your solution was just too simple.
The same thing applies to our dental patient. Look for my future blog on handling the negative patient.
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