3 Ways to Encourage Patients to Wear Orthodontic Retainers
Around 50% of patients admit they disobey their orthodontist’s instructions on how to wear retainers properly, according to a survey published in an oral health magazine. With that data, it’s no surprise that many patients failed to achieve favorable results in a long-term orthodontic treatment. In turn, patient compliance remains a critical challenge for most orthodontists.
If you have many patients who couldn’t comply with your treatment plan, here are a few ways to encourage them to follow your instructions:
1. Reassess Dental Appliance Suppliers
Most of the time, patients fail to wear their orthodontic retainers over the course of several months because they aren’t comfortable wearing them. This is likely the reason for your patients’ noncompliance, especially if you’ve only provided them with standard retainers.
These days, some suppliers and dental labs provide customized retainers to meet the unique needs of a patient. After all, not everyone has the same jaw and tooth structure. So, reassess your current suppliers and perhaps, this is the right time to consider another one.
2. Help Patients See that the Goal is Achievable
Most orthodontic treatments last for more than eight months. With a treatment period that long, it is normal for patients to feel they’re not making any progress at one point. As such, it’s important to show them that the goal is closer than they think. Consider breaking the goal into percentages and give them a progress report each visit. For sure, hearing that 50% of their mouth is now in good shape is enough to motivate them to comply with the rest of the treatment plan.
3. Take the Time to Listen
As the dental practice is a busy world, many orthodontists feel they need to take charge and tell their patients what they need right away. The truth is that sometimes, you need to slow down a bit and ask your patients a few questions, such as how they feel about the treatment plan. Listen to your patients and you will know the things that bother them the most, as well as the exact reasons behind their noncompliance.
By employing these recommendations, you can increase patient compliance rates in your practice. You will have satisfied patients and probably get a lot of new appointments.