1 dental practice's approach to patient questions

Directing questions toward patients is one way a Massachusetts dental practice helps patients understand oral health issues.

Brandon Cairo, DMD, who practices in Worcester, Mass., recently shared with Becker's the most common questions his staff gets from patients and how they address them. 

Note: This response has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Q: What are some of the most common questions about oral health you get asked by patients? How do you address these questions?

Dr. Brandon Cairo: The four most common questions our hygienists and I receive are the following: 

  • Why do my gums bleed?
  • Why are my teeth sensitive to temperature and during cleanings?
  • Why does my breath smell bad?
  • How would I know if I were grinding or clenching?

We address these questions typically with a five-minute verbal explanation with the more straightforward questions. For questions that may require more extensive answers, I try to take a more Socratic approach involving more questions directed toward the patient to have them eventually see a pathway to understanding their problem.

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