Clients brush off our dental recommendations

Clients brush off our dental recommendations

Nov 01, 2006
By dvm360.com staff

Q: How do I make a dental recommendation to clients who've refused this care before?

It depends on why they said no, says Sara L. Sharp, CVT, VTS (Dentistry), secretary of the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians. Consider this list of reasons clients refuse care:

1. They're afraid of anesthesia. "I understand the fear," Sharp says. "And I explain that's why we use fluids, monitor the anesthesia, and choose the anesthetics we use—because it's the safest approach." As an extra reassurance, Sharp says she calls clients every step of the way: before the procedure, afterward, and even later in the day before clients pick up their pets.

2. The procedure costs money. "Sometimes clients just don't have the money, but they still want to do what's best for their pets," Sharp says. "In these cases, we suggest third-party payment plans or offer to make payment arrangements."

3. They don't believe in dental care. Sharp says these are the toughest cases, so you'll need to really educate clients. "I always tell people dental care is so important because everything begins with the mouth," she says. To emphasize the importance of dental care, she often shares other clients' success stories. For example, she remembers a mean dog that came in for care. When they looked in the mouth, they discovered base narrow canines that had been poking up into the dog's mouth and had created fistulas. "When we corrected the dental problems, the killer dog from hell became the nicest dog in the world," Sharp says. "The owners couldn't believe it was the same dog."