Dental fear is real. It’s one of the most common factors people avoid visiting clinics at all costs unless they really get to the point of feeling excruciating pain from a toothache.
It’s important then for dental practitioners to try all efforts to make sure their patients have a comfortable, pleasant experience in their visit. Not only will this benefit your dental practice, but also the people you’re trying to save from that excruciating pain of a toothache.
Here are ways to make patients comfortable in the dentist’s chair:
1. Improve your procedures.
Some dental treatments indeed require time and some level of discomfort on the part of patients. For instance, dental crown procedures take weeks.
Dentists would have to prepare the tooth, take the impressions, then place a temporary crown; patients would have to wait for two weeks, and then get to another appointment before they get the permanent crown, which creates not just logistical discomfort, but also prolonged anxiety.
The good thing about this, for Orthodenco Orthodontic Lab, is that digital tools such as 3D printer orthodontics, can streamline such procedures. A lot of dentists today perform intra-oral scanning, which significantly cuts time in the dentist’s chair and captures teeth impressions accurately, reducing discomfort on the part of patients.
2. Give them a sense of control.
The anxiety most patients experience comes from the feeling of helplessness once they’re pinned down to the chair. Allow them to gain a sense of control by telling them that you’ll stop when they start to feel uncomfortable with the treatment.
Agree on a signal — say, a hand gesture the patient will do when they feel uneasy. Do this before any procedure starts to reassure them. Let them also know about the tasks you’ll do as you go about the procedure to calm the patients’ uncertainties. Sometimes, the fear of the unknown also prompts the feeling of not being in control.
3. Teach them relaxation techniques.
The body releases a lot of stress hormones when a person is anxious. Such hormones will cause physical changes, such as tighter muscles or a higher breathing rate.
These can further worsen your patients’ anxiety. To counteract these, teach them relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises and guided imagery.
Remember, a relaxed patient is a returning patient. Keep patients calm in the dentists’ chair with these tips.