Students and many colleagues often make mistakes in first contact with a patient. You have to know that every patient has some positive or negative experiences with doctors. Because of that I have learned from the best ones that you have to smile and to have dosed humor in every contact. That fights their anxiety and in the end that prepares a patient for normal conversation. We do not want patient that approves everything that we say and few hours later asks himself/herself why haven’t he/she asked this or that or why have he/she approved something.

In the first sentence after: “Hello, my name is Dr. Strujic” and talks about how they traveled, etc. I ask them what is the reason they came today. Well, the main error is to “spoil” their complaints with our observation. Of course, our experience can lead us to find their problems accurately in the first minute, but why not to use that moment and before talking to just ask them that? In the most cases they do not surprise me, but there are some patients that have done that. There were situations with great problems and patient say that he/she has problems with something much less noticeable from my perspective. That’s why orthodontists do not like open bite: it is hard to treat ti, it takes much time, it needs their attention, but the biggest problem is that for many patients it isn’t “a big deal”. In that case they came because they have one rotated lateral incisor.

In the general, main complaints we are receiving from patients are linked with esthetics. I learned from my mentor and from my experience that those patients that have complaints correlated with esthetics are the best ones because they will be well motivated. If anything we need that is patient motivation.

There are patients that came with sentences like: “My mother is unsatisfied with…” or “My general practitioner has seen my… and he wants to…” or the worst one: “I do not have problems with esthetics but with function”. The main reason that occurs is because they thing that esthetics is not enough reason for an intervention or really someone forced them to do something. In both cases our outcome will be limited because of their motivation. I do not say that function is not a good reason for doing something, but they do not understand it. In my experience nothing creates such motivation like esthetics and we are lucky because major part of problems are closely linked to problems with esthetics.

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