How Does Team Culture Affect Case Acceptance?

Dental practice leaders often ask, “Does my team culture affect case acceptance?”. The answer is yes but have you ever wondered what specific aspect of your culture has the greatest impact?

Team culture simply means the way your team does things. “Culture” is a buzz word that is impactful and important. How does your team do things? What culture have you created in the practice? Dentistry is a relational business, and if the culture is not intentionally focused on relating to the human side of dentistry, then you’re missing huge case acceptance opportunities.

Patients only know how they feel when they’re in your care. Patients need to feel safe and comfortable before they accept your dentistry. Do you have specific systems in place to ensure your team understands how to create a safe and comfortable environment? If not, let’s talk about what those systems might look like.

The first system is the initial new patient phone call. The level of care the patient receives on that initial phone call has to match the level of care the patient can expect to receive when they’re in your care. You don’t want someone who doesn’t sound confident answering the phones. If they’re unsure, the new patient is going to immediately think you’re not confident in dentistry you offer.

When the patient arrives, we need to be genuinely relational. Welcome them with a tour of the practice, not to show them where the bathroom is, but to show them their new dental home.

As soon as the patient is taken to the operatory, we should take time to sit down either knee to knee or eye to eye with the patient and say, “Tell me about your oral health. Tell me about your at home care. Tell me about your last dental experience.” Are they wanting the bare minimum or are they wanting optimal oral health? Tweak your conversations to meet the patient’s goals. Don’t try to present everything to them at once if that’s not what they want. Let the patient control of the conversation; however, you should be confident in delivering the information in the conversation. (By the way, that is the number one reason why practices get the bad reviews of “I went in for a toothache and came out with a $10,000 treatment plan” because we don’t have those initial conversations.)

Every team member should understand how your team culture affects case acceptance.

If you can master creating a culture where patients feel safe and comfortable through the way that your team does things, your culture, then your case acceptance is going to rise.

To learn more about how to improve your team culture, contact me today at or 214-755-0955.  For more information about our Team Culture Camp programs, visit

Published by Team Culture Works

We teach teams how to use DISC COMMUNICATION tools to improve communication, eliminate gossip at work, and increase productivity.

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