Did you know that one-third of the US population avoids the dentist due to dental anxiety or fear?
Are you running a dental practice and trying to figure out what you can do to help your patients that have dental fear?
Since it is so common, it’s important to ensure that your fearful patients are still able to get the treatment they need.
Keep reading to get some great tips on helping patients with dental anxiety have a positive experience.
One of the best things that a dentist can do for someone that is dealing with dental fear is offer reassurance. Answer any and all questions that a person may have about their procedures, be professional in how you conduct yourself, and let them know that they are in good hands.
For example, if someone is coming in to get veneers, but they don’t know a lot about the procedure, they may feel more nervous. You can invite them to learn more on veneers here, discuss how the treatment process works, and talk about what the recovery looks like.
Some people are scared of the dentist because of a bad experience in the past or because they don’t like not having control. Having these conversations will help you work with the patient better and understand where the anxiety is coming from.
Although it’s not always the go-to route to take, it is necessary at times to use medications on patients that have dental phobia.
Depending on their location, some dentists can prescribe anti-anxiety medication for the patient to take before they come in. Alternatively, dentists may also recommend nitrous oxide or other conscious sedation options to help calm the nerves during a standard dental procedure.
Offering Pre-Treatment Consultations
One way to ease the nerves of a person that has fear of dentists is to give them plenty of opportunities to prepare before the actual procedure.
You can offer consultations where the patient just comes into the office to talk about what is going to happen and how the process works.
This will help them have a better idea of what is going on and potentially is a good chance for them to get more comfortable with the dental office in general. If they know they are coming in just to talk about treatment rather than actually get the treatment, they may become calmer later on.
Sometimes people that are frightened or anxious at the dentist associate sounds and smells with things that trigger their fears. As a result, you may want to play some calming music or try to mask the smell of the facility to help with this discomfort.
Ask the patient what sorts of things they think contribute to their anxiety and see what can be done to make those concerns less obvious.
Helping Patients Deal With Dental Anxiety
If you have patients that have dental anxiety, keep in mind that there are things that you can do to make the treatment process easier. Try to make the experience positive for every patient by using some of the techniques explained above.
Make sure to keep the conversation open at all times so that patients are as comfortable as possible.
Did you learn something from this article? If so, be sure to take a look at the rest of our blog for additional tips.