According to a new study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, dental professionals need to work on how they deliver bad news to patients. Breaking bad news is a difficult task and many dentists were never educated on how to do so properly. Evidence suggests that instruction for this type of conversation is not commonly taught because dentists don’t usually have to deliver bad news to patients. However, many oral and systemic conditions may be noticed during dental office visits, so it is crucial that dentists know how to deliver this information. Below are five tips that will help make these conversations easier to have:
Advance preparation. Arrange for adequate time, privacy settings and no interruptions.
Build a therapeutic relationship or environment. Have close family members or other supportive people in the room when delivering the information.
Communicate well. Ask the patient what they already know, what they want to know, and if they have any questions. Avoid using medical jargon that they won’t understand.
Deal with patient and family reactions. Assess and respond based on the patient’s emotional reactions.
Encourage and validate emotions. Offer positive reinforcement and realistic hope.
For more information on how to deliver difficult news, please visit Dr.Bicuspid.com.
Note: This content is accurate as of the date published above and is subject to change. Please seek professional advice before acting on any matter contained in this article.