If a plastic surgeon or cosmetic physician does a consultation with a patient and they are unable to get the patient to genuinely smile throughout the entire consultation…
What do you think the likelihood is that the patient will smile after they have the best cosmetic treatment? Most would agree that it is low that the patient will be satisfied. I believe the simplest way to screen patients is the give them a “Smile Rating” or “Smile Score.”
I do this for all of my patients on a 0-100 scale, and it is an easy and fun way to get your entire team tuned in to patients that are happy, unhappy, or unstable. Patients with high levels of stress and often with mental illness do not offer “genuine smiles” that frequently (low smile score), and you can quickly intervene by helping them to reduce their stress or declining cosmetic treatments until they can handle their stress/psychiatric issues. This technique is not perfect, however, it is very powerful. We are human, there are exceptions to every rule : ) I am a facial plastic surgeon and after performing thousands of plastic surgeries, I have never met a plastic surgeon who has not treated a patient with some degree of body dysmorphia. It happens to all of us. The best we can do is screen and intervene as soon as we identify body dysmorphia.
I agree the patients can be good at hiding it, making the diagnosis more difficult. Categorize your patients into upper, middle, or lower thirds of a smile score: Very frequent smilers, medium smilers, and no smilers. Be much more cautious with your patients that smile very little, they are more challenging to deal with. Patients that smile very frequently are much easier to work with, and if they have a challenge with their treatment, they are more likely to work with you. As a younger surgeon, I tried to make every patient happy. I now am less ambitious with treating unhappy (low smile score) patients with plastic surgery, and I direct them to improving their smiling and happiness habits before they do a treatment.
I discuss this at length in my new book, “The Smile Prescription“ which we are excited to announce hit the WSJ and Amazon bestseller lists.
I recommend every patient read this book before having a cosmetic treatment. If we do not have good happiness habits before surgery, plastic surgery alone is not enough to create the happiness that everyone ultimately seeks. Happy patient = happy doctor. When a doctor has patients with a higher smile score, then the doctors smile score goes up! And, I have found there are a few doctors out there that don’t smile that much… One of the most therapeutic treatments a doctor can give to their patient is their genuine smile, showing compassion and caring. Visit our site www.SmileInspiration.com, we are changing the world, one smile at a time. The world will be a better place when people smile more often : )