5 Tips for A+ Chairside Manners


A dental team with A+ chairside manners is a surefire way to retain happy, loyal patients. If you feel like your people skills could use a lift, keep reading! We’ve got you and your team covered with these 5 tips.

Be Aware of Your “Nonverbals”

Here’s an eye-opening fact: 93% of communication is nonverbal in nature. Think about how your nonverbal communication impacts your patients. Are you smiling and relaxed greeting patients or walking into the exam room? Or are you hurried and frazzled? Having a relaxed manner will help patients feel valued AND put anxious patients at ease. If you’re hurried, they may feel like a bother or just a “number” to get in and out the door.

Employ the Power of Touch

Touch is the first sense we have in our lives, and it is one of the most powerful, healing and beneficial ways to communicate … at all ages! Appropriate touching, such as a high five to a child, a reassuring pat on the arm for a nervous patient, or a warm handshake as you end the appointment, can show that you care and leave a positive and lasting impression on the patient.

Don’t Criticize Past Providers

New patients? Refrain from criticizing past providers in front of them or in their charts. Note the facts and make treatment recommendations, but keep it objective. Some patients may even try to fish this info out of you. Don’t give in. With the lawsuit-happy world we live in, you will be well served in just noting facts. Plus, you’ll look more professional by not engaging in bad-mouthing.

Focus on Them

Listening is not something that can be faked with a few “mmhmms” and nods of the head. Listening is truly an art form, and with practice, you can be a master! This means being fully present to the patient and quieting your own internal dialogue… those thoughts of what to say next and the running commentary on what the other person is saying. Genuinely listen to your patients in the moment and respond accordingly. They WILL notice the difference – and appreciate it.

Silence Your Inner Jokester

That epic knock-knock joke may have been a hit with your kids, but in general, a dental office is a place to steer clear of jokes. While it’s great to be friendly and show your natural sense of humor, patients still expect a high degree of professionalism. And let’s be honest – it can be awkward for both patients and providers when jokes fall flat.

What’s your best chairside advice to dental pros just starting their careers? Share it here!

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