“Shock & Awe” for Better Case Acceptance

Big-case dental patients can be the hardest to get to accept treatment.

That’s understandable, since the vast majority of them are looking at a large outlay of funds to solve their dental problems. Depending on the particular procedure and patients’ individual case presentations, they may also be looking at a considerable time commitment and a possibly painful experience.

IMG_3046The absolute best way to deal with patient objections is proactively. That’s the concept behind the “Shock & Awe” dental implant packet.

The use of the phrase “shock and awe” has broadened greatly since its public introduction in 2003. Today, the initial military usage has given way to mean almost any dazzling display or approach that overwhelms the will to resist.

SmartBox created this Shock & Awe packet for Dr. Ron Receveur, a very successful dentist in the greater Louisville, Kentucky, area and a SmartBox client. Each prospective dental implant patient receives this packet before their initial consultation.

Considerable thought and applied psychology went into the development of these pieces. The writing follows the “Problem-Agitate-Solution” (PAS) model.


By noting every possible problem that could lead a patient to investigate implants, the materials foster a sense that the patient is understood. The patient’s thought, conscious or not, is, “This guy knows what it’s like!” Just as important, problem identification prepares the patient to buy into the solution.

Many dental patients who need implants will have done considerable research before contacting a dentist. They’re best viewed as still being in the exploratory phase – not yet ready to make a decision.

To move them toward a decision point, the materials Agitate the problem.


Patients who are seriously considering spending tens of thousands of dollars on dental work know that there’s a problem. They just haven’t thought through the consequences of delaying doing something about the problem.

The materials “up the ante” by clearly conveying the consequences of further delay in getting implants: bone loss, loss of facial definition or even deformity, potential health risks, continued problems eating, continued social embarrassment, self-esteem issues, inability to chew and eat the foods they love. Agitation engages the patient’s emotions to an even greater extent, leading them closer to acting on a solution.


The Shock & Awe materials clearly spell out the benefits of implants and the implant procedure, and deal proactively with patients’ objections.

  • The cost objection is reframed as an investment that will pay dividends in restored self-esteem, ability to eat without pain or embarrassment, and/or resolution or avoidance of dental-related health issues.
  • The permanency objection is removed by discussing the proven durability of today’s implants.
  • The time objection is dealt with by discussing the latest advances in implants including Teeth in a DayTM and similar procedures.
  • The pain objection is handled by providing the patient an IV sedation checklist.
  • The embarrassment objection is removed through the reassuring, nonjudgmental tone of the materials.

Once patients have carefully reviewed the Shock & Awe packet, they feel understood, are aware of the potential consequences of further delay, have had all objections answered, and are ready to make the decision that may well change their lives.

Dr. Receveur is delighted with the results of the materials. “Implant patients now show up for their first appointments ready to go and pre-qualified. I’m not seeing the hemming and hawing, the uncertainty about moving forward, or the argumentativeness that almost always happened before. At most, they may have a few easily answered questions, and then we get down to business.  Using the Shock & Awe packet has dramatically shortened our case acceptance time and sales cycle.”

To learn more about building a Shock & Awe for your implant niche practice, contact Ashley at 502-443-1090.