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Treatment Tips for Millennial Patients

Patient compliance is an ongoing challenge for oral health professionals. Significant time is spent educating patients with varying results. While compliance, or lack thereof, applies to patients of all generations, Millennial patients present some unique challenges. See how familiar you are with strategies for promoting oral health in this generation.

Improving Compliance in Millennial Patients

Patient compliance is an ongoing challenge for oral health professionals. Significant time is spent educating patients with varying results. While compliance, or lack thereof, applies to patients of all generations, Millennial patients (typically those born between 1980 and the early 2000s) present some unique challenges. See how familiar you are with strategies for promoting oral health in this generation.

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Millennial Traits

Millennials are known for their familiarity and reliance on technology. They may prefer interaction with health care providers through electronic means rather than face to face. Typically high goal setters, Millennials may become discouraged when goals are not met or when they are reminded of what is needed to achieve such goals by authority figures.

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Boosting Treatment Compliance

Valuing Millennials’ opinions and autonomy regarding their health care decisions may greatly improve adherence to treatment recommendations. While health care providers may find it difficult to surrender control of treatment planning, success and continuity of patient adherence may depend on it.

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Information Dissemination

Millennial patients frequently turn to the internet for medical information, which changes the patient-provider dynamic. Technology-driven practices incorporating online evidence-based patient education can enhance patient knowledge and may improve adherence with treatment plans and self care. Creating an online blog is one method oral health professionals can ensure Millennials access appropriate, relevant oral and systemic health information.

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Avoid this Mistake

Parents of Millennial patients were very involved in their children’s everyday lives. Overscheduling and high expectations may contribute to patients who have difficulty making their own decisions. Consistent pressure to comply with recommendations or treatment may alienate patients rather than encourage them to seek recommended treatment or follow self-care instructions.

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Tailor Communication

Millennials may prefer more relaxed, casual communication. Relay information in short segments with a respectful tone, providing feedback regularly. Visual aids greatly enhance communication and maintain attention. Millennials may prefer online chat or email interaction with their health care providers.

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Immediate Feedback

Millennials may be accustomed to immediate feedback. Give praise when deserved and constructive feedback when needed. Be cautious, however, of tone of voice and do not reiterate unless asked to do so.

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Inclusion Is Key

Include Millennials in treatment decisions. Allow them to share what works and does not work for them, and attempt to tailor recommendations based on their preferences.

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