Dental Relationship Update: A Generational Approach

Relationships are the cornerstone of business and life.

Having just moved to a new city, where we do not know anyone, we have accepted the challenge and embraced the excitement of making new friends and routines.

For most of us, we are out of our comfort zone with change.  However, calculating and customizing your approach will make a huge difference in the end result.

Whenever I interact with someone new, I take a generational approach and ask myself:  How can I communicate from their generational perspective?


The “R” in my iRONMAN Principles of Communication refers to relationship building.

Learning to customize your generational language with each patient and team member will escalate the relationship building and drive productive results.

Learn more about customizing your dental generational language here.


Build the dental patient and team relationships according to their unique generational preferences.

  • Boomers and Traditionalists want to get to know you first, then talk business.  They value dental health and often have financial resources for treatment.
    • Be Aware of being all business, you’ll lose this patient or team member
    • Be Thorough with explanations with a relaxed conversation
  • Gen X prefer brevity and directness; Utilize technology if appropriate; Minimal chit-chat after business
    • Be Aware of asking too many personal questions
    • Recommend ideal treatment options that include a treatment schedule and financial plan
  • Gen Y and Z demand technology; Enjoy interaction and genuine connections: Seek an experience; Utilize text / instant messaging.
    • Be Aware that email and voicemail will not prompt a response
    • Maximize appointment time and provide same day service (if possible)
    • Create a strong online presence to attract patients and employees

Learn more here about generational differences in patient engagement.


“Autopilot” during our dental day definitely has a place.  But I challenge you to ask yourself, “Is there is a better way to communicate with this patient or team member to yield better results?” 

Take a chance on change and break the dental routines that we covet.  You’ll discover that it:  improves your interactions with patients and team members, positively impacts efficiency, and leads to practice productivity.

It isn’t enough to only institute changes at the management level. We all need to commit.  Give it a try next week!

Copyright 2019 Lisa Copeland.  All rights reserved.