Going to the dentist isn’t the most fun activity for many. However, some people find the very idea of being in a dentist’s chair to be completely nerve-wracking. As a dental professional, you provide an invaluable service in not only being able to care for your patients’ teeth, but also in educating them so that they’ll be able to experience appointments with a much better mindset. Here are some ways to ease your dental patients’ anxiety and fear.
Talk to Them
Your patient might feel ill at ease because they aren’t entirely comfortable around medical professionals. This could apply to anyone, from young children to full grown adults. You want your relationship with all your patients to be built on trust. Therefore, it’s vitally important to take the time to communicate effectively with them. One example would be to discuss the procedure and talk about positive things, like hobbies.
Make Your Office Relaxing
The layout and tools of a dentist’s office can make it seem especially foreboding. With all the sharp tools and stainless steel, it’s understandable that someone might feel like they can’t exactly de-stress in such an environment. However, you can make adjustments that will make patients feel much calmer. For starters, you could play relaxing music that eases them into the procedure. You can also add fragrances to the air (that aren’t too overwhelming) in order to please their sense of smell.
Teach Deep Breathing
If a patient seems especially nervous or discloses that they are, take the time to practice deep breathing exercises with them. One of the most effective methods is 4-7-8 breathing, in which you inhale to the count of four, hold your breath to the count of seven and then exhale to the count of eight. You can also do this with your patients, as the relaxation effects will prove worthwhile for you.
Check with Them Regularly
Some patients might find their anxiety dissipates once the procedure starts. Others might find themselves uncomfortable for the entire duration and need constant reassurance. Every few minutes, ask your patient how they’re feeling and if they have any requests from you. Should they need to take a break, you should give them that opportunity.
Feeling dental anxiety can be a source of shame for many people. A patient with this fear might feel like they’re the only one who feels this way. During the procedure, you should tell any anxious patients about how well they’re doing. This can increase the likelihood that they are able to relax and lessen their fear.
A positive relationship with patients is vital for a dentist. By following these steps, you can help ease your patients’ anxiety and fear. While you can’t guarantee that all fears will disappear instantly, you can count on seeing progress if you are committed and consistent. Whether it’s a teeth cleaning or a root canal, your patients’ anxiety can be lessened tremendously with these methods.
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