Help Your Patient Cope with Anxiety or Fear of the Dentist

Help Your Patient Cope with Anxiety or Fear of the Dentist

It’s certainly no secret that the dental office is not exactly everyone’s favorite place to visit, but some patients experience extreme fear or anxiety when facing an upcoming visit. Here’s how to best help an anxious or fearful patient cope and feel more comfortable in the chair.

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Understanding the Situation

In order to best help your patients, it’s important to approach the situation with an open and understanding outlook.

As dental professionals, it can be easy for us to forget just how threatening it can be simply to walk through the practice’s doors, let alone undergo extensive dental treatment. Dentistry is an invasive practice by nature, which can prove to be quite nerve wracking for some people.

Dental anxiety, while unfortunate, is quite common: in fact, it’s currently estimated that over 60% of people suffer from dental fear and anxiety.

How You Can Help

So, how can you help your patients cope with their fear or anxiety? Here are a few trusted methods:

  1. Communication: The best way to help your patient build trust is to hold open communication with them. When discussing treatment, take the time to fully explain things and be sure to ask for their input or opinion.
  2. Teamwork: Approaching your patient’s treatment as their partner rather than a “dictator” of sorts can help them feel involved and in-control, which can help tremendously with anxiousness or fear.

    For many people, the feeling of helplessness during dental treatment can be a major deterrent. Allowing your patient to have control over how, when, why, and how their treatment is completed can make a night and day difference in how they feel about it.
  3. Conversation Simply holding friendly and interactive conversation with your patient can help them feel much less anxious or fearful during their appointment.

    “White coat syndrome” is unfortunately very much a real thing; for some people, it’s hard to see dentists as approachable people.

    Taking the initiative to hold friendly conversation with your patient will show them that you are friendly, approachable, and personally invested.
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  5. Comfort & Amenities: Taking active steps to ensure that your patient is comfortable during their visit is another fantastic way to help alleviate dental anxiety or fear.

    Providing a warm blanket, comforting music, food or beverages, or even a movie or television show for your patient to watch during their time in the chair are all fantastic options; making your patient’s comfort your number one priority will show them that there is nothing to fear, and that they can relax during their treatment.
  6. Full Treatment Explanation: Explaining your patient’s planned treatment in full detail is a great way to develop trust.

    With the use of DentiCalc’s intelligent and cutting-edge visual aids, you can quickly and easily explain your patient’s treatment to them. Not only will your patient be impressed with the presentation; they will be grateful to have access to information and visual aids that will help them feel more confident in their treatment.
Dentist-patient communicationPhoto by DentiCalc

For more information about how DentiCalc can help enhance your treatment plan presentations, click here.

For more informational dental blog posts, click here.

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