5 Ways to Reduce Patient Anxiety During Dental Appointments

Dental anxiety often results in patients avoiding dental care; however, there will be many instances which you have to deal with individuals that suffer from anxiety. Not only is the care that you provide an immense source of stress for your patients, the anxiety experienced by those patients may prove to be a considerable stressor for you, as a provider. dental anxiety

Whether you are dealing with a grown man with clammy hands, a nervous woman, a teenager with a quavering voice, or the loud child who immediately tries to run for the door, dental anxiety is real.

In this brief guide, you will learn 5 strategies for reducing anxiety among patients in your practice.

Strategy #1: Open the Lines of Communication

Prior to initiating work on a patient, take a few minutes to open lines of communication. Inquire as to how the patient is feeling and explain the process associated with the procedure that you will be performing.

Ask the patient if they have any questions and if they are nervous. If they are nervous, acknowledge their concerns, be empathetic to their fear, and make a commitment to do gentle, considerate work.

Additionally, speak in a low and calm manner. You will be surprised at just how effective opening lines of communication is when it comes to reducing anxiety.

Strategy #2: Ensure Complete Control

One of the main reasons that patients – especially adults – have dental anxiety is because they feel as if they no longer possess control. You should inform the patient that they are in charge of that which happens in the office.

You should tell them what to expect when you are performing the procedure and allow them when to initiate the procedure. You should discuss the use of a signal to indicate that the patient needs a little break.

While most will not have a need to stop you, it can be highly comforting to them knowing that they have this level of control.

Strategy #3: Utilize Calming Distractions

Patients who have dental anxiety are often confined within their own fearful thoughts. To reduce anxiety, integrate calming distractions into your office.

Examples include relaxing images, engaging music, ceiling televisions, and similar items. These distractions are sure to put your patient at ease.

Strategy #4: Integrate Virtual Reality

Today, many dentists are using what they call “digital nitrous”, or virtual reality headset/goggle units. These will immense your patients into a calming scene, with calming sounds.

While this may be a bit expensive, the time you save on dealing with the anxiety of your patients will actually result in higher levels of profits in the future.

Strategy #5: Join a Dental Service Organization

A dental service organization will provide the tools and resources that you need in order to spend more time in calming your anxious patients. It helps your practice and ensures that patients receive empathetic, considerate, and complete dental services.

You will not have to worry over rushing to complete administrative work or holding up your patients in the waiting room – which only adds to their stress.

Our dental service organization in Georgia is sure to help reduce both your anxiety and that of your patients. For more information, contact us today at: 478-721-1300

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