Dealing With Cosmetic Patients! Dream or Total Nightmare?


The lifeblood of any cosmetic surgery or cosmetic dentistry practice is patients.  Without them, there is no need for our services!

But being in the ‘actual people business’ brings unique challenges that those in online sales or even retail can’t understand and appreciate.

Challenges in delivery cosmetic health care are in three areas.

1. Of course having the technical skills and equipment to perform treatment safely and effectively.  Have had the latest training?  Is your equipment  and facility modern and up to date.

2. Managing the patient and her emotions.  Do you clearly know her expectations and are they obtainable?  What fears and phobias does she have about treatment?  Is she afraid of needles?  Can you make her comfortable?

3. Finesse.  How do you help cosmetic patients  come to best decisions for themselves when choosing care?  How do you remove obstacles  (both physical and mental) so nothing is standing in their way to  getting the cosmetic treatment they desire?


To have a successful cosmetic surgery or cosmetic dentistry practice, you have to be the master of #2 and #3.

I treated a high functioning, healthy 96-year-old woman.  I was only her second dentist in her life!

And her wants were cosmetic treatment. Period. Her needs were minimal in nature and all could be met during the course of cosmetic treatment.

To obtain the results she and I both wanted, I had to manage her emotions and use a lot of finesse.  Often the case with cosmetic surgery, you also have to manage the patient’s friends and family, as well.

In this case, the patient’s adult son felt that she was too old and didn’t want her to have the treatment.  He felt it was all unnecessary.

By discussing what she “needed” for her health and that it would be accomplished during the cosmetic procedure, it was no longer an emotional decision she was making, but now it was logical in her son’s mind.

We proceeded with the treatment and she (and her son) was very pleased with the results. I know you understand the power of ‘changing someone’s life’ through cosmetic treatment.

But it could have easily not gone that way.  

Cosmetic patient case acceptance is focused on THEM.   No where in the discussion did my qualifications, training, or equipment come in.  In fact, there wasn’t a lot of talking on my part at all.

The most important thing was listening to both of them, which at the start seemed like they were coming from two very different positions.  But after listening, I could ‘hear’ what would bring all of us to the only logical conclusion- getting the treatment done.  

It was more like being a mediator first, doctor second.

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