It’s not your fault.

No one teaches you this stuff. No one tells you how to do case presentation elegantly, intelligently or strategically.

So you make it up as you go along.

You do the best you can, like the rest of us.

And maybe you’re left wondering.

Why do some people accept the cases you present, when others don’t?

Is there a ‘right’ way of presenting a case to a patient?

Or worse, are you making mistakes with some of your case presentations?

Because there are number of mistakes you can make in case presentation.

And they’re not necessarily obvious.

But they can make a big difference to your patients, and to their oral health.

So you owe it to your patients to understand these mistakes.

Because, if there’s one thing we all want, it’s the best for our patients. That’s why we’re in this game, right?

We’re here because we care about people and we want to look after them. So it’s critical you understand how you can help your patients make the best decisions.

So take a peek at these case presentations mistakes, then you can be sure you avoid them!

6 Case Presentation Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Not Understanding The Buyer’s Decision Making Process

If you don’t understand the buyer’s decision-making process you risk losing them at the first hurdle. You must understand this process.

Every one of us follows a process to make a buying decision. We go from being sure everything is OK, to becoming aware there’s a problem.

From there we decide whether or not we’re going to address the problem. We search for information and evaluate our options, and decide what to buy.

Imagine this.

You’re out shopping and you’ve just seen an amazing new television set. You’d like it, but there’s nothing wrong with your current one. You didn’t come out looking to buy a new TV.

But you really like this new one.

It’s much bigger than your existing tele – which really is a bit small for the room. And this one is a smart TV, so you’d be able to watch things on iView or Netflix.

That would save you dragging your laptop out to connect to the television.

That’s exactly how we think when we’re buying things. Whether we go out to buy a new TV because the old one is broken, or whether we just see something we like – a new phone, new shoes … whatever.

Whether we go out to buy a new TV because the old one is broken, or whether we just see something we like – a new phone, new shoes … whatever.

We start following the buying process, just as patients follow the process during case presentation.

Not Diagnosing Comprehensively

There are many reasons why dentists don’t diagnose comprehensively, but most of them come down to fear.

We fear that the patient can’t afford certain treatment options, or that they’ll see us as being greedy. We fear losing the patients’ trust or loyalty, or that the patient won’t complete the treatment.

In order to diagnose comprehensively, we need to set aside these fears and provide information and options.

Imagine we’re still keen on that TV, and we go into the store to talk to someone.

Now imagine that person only shows us the television we asked about, and doesn’t compare it with similar products.

Or, they look at us and say that the television we saw is VERY expensive, and then they steer us towards their less expensive products.

Or they fail to ask us what we’re looking for in a television, so we’re left still hooking up our laptop to stream online programs.

We’ve spent a fortune on something that doesn’t meet our needs, all because our needs were not properly diagnosed.

Not Asking for the Sale

At some point during case presentation we need to ask the patient to make a decision, and many dentists do not ask for the sale.

They avoid it. They’re uncomfortable and find the process unpleasant. So the patient is left hanging.

Let’s going back to our television buying example. What would happen if the sales person showed us a bunch of different TVs and then just faded away?

If they never asked if we prefer one over the other, or whether a particular set meets our needs? We might buy something, or we might just decide it’s all too hard, and go home.

We might buy something, or we might just decide it’s all too hard, and go home.

It’s the same with patients. So you need to find a way to ask for the sale – for their benefit.

Asking Too Quickly

Many dentists make the mistake of asking for the sale too quickly, which again disrupts the buying process.

The patient needs to know there’s an issue. They need to digest this information, along with the options available to them.

If they’re asked to make a decision too early, they feel pushed. They’re confused. They haven’t had a chance to ‘come to terms’ with things yet.

If we return to our television example we can imagine what this might feel like.

We walk into the store saying we’ve been eyeing off the television in the window, and the salesman asks us whether we’d like to pay for it with cash or credit card.


It’s too early in the buying process to make this decision. We haven’t really decided whether we’re going to do anything about the existing television.

And we haven’t had a chance to consider our options yet. Which is exactly what happens when you rush into a sale with a patient.

Not Having A Process

You know what a fan I am of processes. They make life easier and make us more professional.

If you don’t have a process for case presentation, you have no way of knowing what’s working and what’s not.

You’re just doing things in any random order – and your case acceptance rates will be random too.

That doesn’t help your patients make great decisions.

If you don’t already have a case presentation process, put something together. Once you have a process you have something you can measure, tweak and refine.

That’s the only way to get good at something.

And you want to be good at this because it’s an essential part of caring for your patients.

Not Testing and Measuring

This goes hand in hand with process.

If you measure and test you can establish what is working and what isn’t.

If you follow a process you can track your case acceptance rate. If you tweak your process, you’ll see the impact it has on case acceptance.

It’s as simple as that.

As Marty Rubin says:

“Every line is the perfect length if you don’t measure it.”

So start testing and measuring your case acceptance process, so your patients can benefit.

Stop Wondering and Start Measuring

Up until now you might not have been aware of these case presentation mistakes.

But now you know. And knowledge is power.

So now there’s no excuse. You have the power to make big changes.

To really help your patients.

To walk them through the decision-making process and help them make the right choices.

You owe it to your patients to create a process, and start measuring your results.

And there’s no better time that today.

So what are you waiting for?