6 Ways to Reduce Dental Anxiety

Dental CPA in San Diego, CA

Much of the population experiences some level of fear related to dental visits. A vital part of your success as a dentist relies upon easing your patients’ anxiety before, during and after their appointment. Below are six tips that will help your team keep patients calm and happy:

  1. Let patients know what to expect. Utilize your website and initial correspondence with patients to let them know what to expect at a first visit. Knowing what the exam will include, how financial arrangements are handled and who the patient will be seeing can set the patient’s mind at ease. Remember, the unknown can be scary.
  1. Get the team involved. Make sure your team has been trained in welcoming new patients. Invest time in thoughtfully crafting the new patient experience and make sure each team member knows his/her role.
  1. Listen. 80% or more of communication is non-verbal. Make sure to listen not only to the patients’ words, but also their body language and facial expression. If your intuition has you feeling that a patient may not be comfortable with a suggestion, take the time to ask him to voice any questions he may have.
  1. Value your patients’ time. Too much time spent waiting on an appointment can lead to increased anxiety. If an anxious patient spends time alone with his thoughts, the anxiety is likely to increase. If running behind, inform the patient before their appointment if possible. You can also provide a small gift card or token of appreciation to thank the patient for waiting.
  1. Slow down. If you are running behind or dealing with a hectic day, it’s important to take a moment and breathe. Calm yourself and your energy before speaking with the patient. This will have a calming effect on your patient and allow for better communication.
  1. Discuss solutions. If a patient expressed concern, do not respond with a quick, “It will be fine. I promise.” Instead, ask what the patient is fearful of and address the specific concern. If pain is a concern, explain how you will take measures to ensure his comfort throughout the treatment. An extra 30 seconds of communication can lead to a superior dental experience.

These insights will not only make every day at your dental practice more enjoyable, but will contribute to your overall success.

Contact us for more information.