Quick Tips for Dentists to Ease Patient Anxiety


The most common source of dental phobia is a previous horrendous dental experience (often in childhood). This phobia often rears its ugly head in adulthood as well. Even for patients who don’t have a literal “dental phobia”, it is normal to experience a certain amount of fear and anxiety before a dental treatment which is bound to involve a lot of sharp, scary instruments going into one’s mouth.

Dentists can win such patients back by introducing new technology to their clinics that is geared towards delivery the most patient-friendly and relaxing dental experience. Your patients will look forward to their dental treatments rather than running away from them!

■ Computerized anesthetic devices and needle-less injections with nasal anesthesia (that mean more numb, less “ouch”)

■ Quieter electric drills.

■ Headphones with music.

■ Ativan doses 90 minutes before the visit to reduce anxiety.

■ Neck pillows for greater comfort.

■ Digital no-goop impressions.

■ No-cut dental implant surgery that eliminates the scalpel and stitches.

As far as motivation for having veneers for a gorgeous smile, countless patients have told me how they increased their business’ bottom line with the power of confidence gained in fixing up their teeth. (Not to mention the uptick in their social lives!)

There is a psychological concept called embodied cognition that shows humans think with both their brains and bodies. This affects behavior.

For instance, when we sport a new article of clothing at a special event, we tend to be more social, talkative and positive. In one study, when participants were given a clipboard to hold, they felt more important, organized and more mindful of what they had to do that day.

So motivate your patients by reminding them how much more confident and relaxed they will feel once the procedure is over, and their dental pain has subsided. Dental treatments may be daunting, but they are always well worth it!

October 12, 2017

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Dental is part of the Medical News Group of publications which in 1968 became the pioneer of medical journalism in Pakistan. Medical News is the only periodical in Pakistan which has 3 simultaneous editions from Karachi, Islamabad and online.

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