Using Killer Visual Aids Can Help You Gain Case Acceptance

By Therese Vannier, RDA/OMSA June 19, 2018

Seeing is believing. You can talk all day about all the great things you’d like to do for your patients, but for many of them, your words go in one ear and out the other without killer visual aids. Giving them something to look at or hold onto—a study model, an intra-oral photograph, or before-and-after shots of your other patients—helps them better understand what you’re talking about. Once they actually see what you can do for their oral health, they’ll be more inclined to embrace your treatment plan.  

visual aids

Not only do visual aids increase your patients’ level of understanding of the goals presented, they also reinforce your treatment plan, clarify points and get patients excited to move forward. Think of it like first-grade show and tell. It’s so much more impressive to show the class the giant spider you captured in your bedroom, rather than tell them how your mom scooted it outside through the kitchen door.

When you use visual aids, your own excitement, enthusiasm and professionalism come through more naturally. Your movements and gestures as you present your props reinforce the control that you have over the treatment plan, which relaxes the patient and lets them know they’re in good hands.

Fortunately, the average dental practice is loaded with visual aids. Here are a few common things you can use to gain case acceptance:

  • Intra-oral images
  • Patient photographs
  • Brag book with patient testimonials
  • Radiographs
  • Tomography
  • Study models
  • Diagnostic wax up
  • Boley gauge
  • Procedure videos
  • Patient education models
  • Night guard
  • Cotton rolls
  • Shade guides
  • Articulating paper

Visual aids add impact and interest to case presentations. They enable you to appeal to more than one sense at a time, thereby increasing the patient’s understanding and retention level. With photographs, study models, wax ups and shade guides, the concepts you present are no longer simply words. Without an impactful case presentation, your words may leave the patient shortly after the patient leaves you.