How to Calm Patients with Dental Anxiety


Dental procedures have long been associated with pain, so it’s no surprise that many patients hesitate to visit a dentist. As a dentist, it’s your responsibility to assure your patients that not all dental procedures are painful. You can even tell them about digital 3D printing in dentistry, which eliminates a lot of painful procedures.

Here are some more tips to bring your patients back to the chair and ease their anxiety.

Treatment starts at the door

As soon as they enter your clinic, reassure your patients by greeting them warmly. If they see that you have positive energy around you, they will be more able to calm down. If you’ve known them for a long time, chat with them for a minute. Ask them how they’ve been or what they’ve been up to.

The key here is to distract them from thinking too much about their upcoming dental procedure. If they need to wait in line, give them something to read. If your patients are children, give them something to play with.

Be honest when explaining the procedure

Be honest with your patients. Explain to them the step-by-step process. It’s important for them to understand what they’re getting into so that there won’t be surprises.

If they ask if what you’re going to do will hurt, tell them the truth but at the same time, assure them that you have the proper equipment to minimize the pain. Tell them that you’ll be using anesthesia to dull their senses if the procedure is quite painful.

Come up with a communication strategy

Most dental patients are terrified of the fact that someone is drilling a hole in their teeth and they can’t do anything about it because they can’t speak. So, before you start the procedure, tell your patients that if they feel that the pain is too much, just give your hand a squeeze or wave at you to stop.

Letting your patients know that they can always communicate with you and tell you that they’re in pain or not comfortable can help them feel calmer. This way, they’ll be less hesitant to push through with the procedure.

Distract them

When you’re performing the dental procedure, try to keep your patients busy. Share a story about anything. They may not be able to talk back, but they will be distracted enough not to focus on their procedure.

Share the benefits of the procedure

Finally, reassure your patients by telling them that the procedure they’re undergoing is good for them. Patients will be less scared of their dental procedures if you inform them of the benefits. If you’re going to perform a root canal, for example, tell them why you need to do this. Then, after the procedure is finished, they will have a healthier tooth.

Help your patients be less scared of sitting and being examined on a dental chair. As long as you maintain open communication with your patients, they will be less hesitant to undergo the dental procedures they need.


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