While most people don’t relish the idea of going to the dentist, for some it’s a deeply stressful experience. In the United States alone, 10% of people suffer from extreme dental anxiety—an acute, intense fear of visiting a dentist.
The causes of anxiety range from a fear of needles and dental drills, to the discomfort of not being in control. For many patients, visiting the dentist brings back unpleasant memories of painful treatments.
While you can’t change your patients’ past experiences, there are practical ways you can help them feel less anxious and more relaxed. (Including one you may not have considered before!)
Create a relaxing environment
It starts in your waiting room. Choose paint and decor in soft colors rather than loud, vibrant ones. Offer plenty of comfortable seating. Provide a visual distraction, such as a fish tank or video screen showing peaceful nature scenes.
In the operatory, encourage your staff to speak and move in a calm, professional manner. Offer patients headsets that play relaxing music—not only does music help cover the sound of handpieces, it’s been proven to reduce the perception of pain.
Check your chairside manner
Anxious patients are already feeling worried and on edge, so don’t keep them waiting. Stay calm and stay on schedule. If you’re rushed or stressed when you come into the operatory, they’ll pick up on the negative energy.
Before a procedure, explain what’s involved, how long it should take, and what kind of pain they might experience. (The anticipation of pain is often a greater cause of anxiety than tangible pain.) During treatment, keep them distracted with friendly conversation so they’re listening to what you’re saying, not thinking about what you’re doing.
Out of sight, out of mind
Imagine you’re an anxious patient. You settle nervously into the chair, only to be visually confronted by an intimidating lineup of drills and handpieces right at your eye level. Even clinical devices sitting on the counter might cause a sense of dread.
Keeping dental equipment “out of sight and out of mind” can do wonders for managing dental patient anxiety. It’s one of the many benefits of the new A-dec 300 side delivery system.
Small and compact, the A-dec 300 “parks” discreetly beneath your dental cabinetry. This makes it easy to keep instruments out of the patient’s view before a procedure. When you’re ready to begin, the glide-arm design quietly moves the delivery within reach. Afterwards, simply tuck it away before the patient sits up in the chair.
The A-dec 300 instantly creates a more relaxing environment for anxious patients. And the clean, modern design reduces the amount of visual clutter for an “open operatory” look that’s aesthetically pleasing for any patient.
Best of all, you can easily integrate it into your practice without having to replace your existing cabinets or A-dec chairs. The A-dec 300 is a delivery system that you—and your patients—will appreciate every time you step into the operatory. To learn more, talk to your A-dec dealer today.