Long gone are those days when thinking about the dentist conjured up images of painful drills, stinky clinic rooms, squealing noises and incessant grinding. Today’s dentistry is all about comfort, friendliness and a welcoming atmosphere. If your patients don’t experience that when they visit you, you’re missing out on something big. Here is a guide to practicing no fear dentistry so you can reduce your patients’ anxiety levels and make their visits feel like a walk in the park.
Try to make every procedure painless
As an addition to the injectable anesthesia, use topical anesthetic gels to reduce the pain by a greater degree and lower your patients’ anxiety. For example, you can use a topical gel to numb the area before injection. And if your patients feel anxious about the pain during cleaning, use topical anesthetics to numb their gums.
High speed cleaners are also used by some dentists to reduce the pain in drilling and cleaning the teeth. These cleaners go very fast and have almost no vibration which means they cause little pain.
Another method in painless dentistry is using laser for cavity fillings. Laser dentistry allows patients to have their cavities filled without painful drilling, vibration and having cold water running in their mouth.
Injected anesthesia is also more effective and a little different these days. Now, patients no longer have to leave with half their mouth numbed as you can simply numb a single tooth.
Distract your patients
Distracting your patients is one of the best methods that reduces anxiety and fear. And when it comes to distractions, having a TV, piles of magazines and background music are not the only techniques that work. To create a more positive dental experience, many dentists provide personal headphones, personal screens, video games, and wireless internet. Some even loan an iPod to patients. This makes their visit quicker and less emotionally painful.
Pamper your patients
Can you compare a dental visit to a day in the spa? Well, now you can. The newest trends in no fear dentistry is to offer a spa treatment as a compliment to patients while they’re waiting for the dentist in the waiting room or while they’re undergoing a procedure. Ever thought of performing a root canal treatment on a patient while they’re having a soothing pedicure or a foot rub?
So, instead of having an aquarium in your waiting room, consider having a massage chair and heated neck wraps!
Speed up your procedures
Modern techniques in dentistry allow you to perform multi-visit procedures in a single day. This reduces your and your patients’ time and make their dental visits more convenient. With new technologies, everything can be quicker these days including the dreaded root canal treatment, getting crowns or braces.
Prepare your patients for what’s coming ahead
One most effective technique that’s proven to reduce anxiety levels in patients is enhancing their sense of control. To do this, give them preparatory information and remove their uncertainty about the procedure. Tell them about everything that’s coming ahead including how much pain they should expect and whether something would hurt or not.
When dealing with children, use terminologies which they can understand. For example, tell them you’re going to take a picture of their teeth when actually you’re referring to an X-ray. Read this article on how to make your practice kid friendly for more strategies on that.
The above strategies will help you practice no fear dentistry and lower your patients’ anxiety levels and fears about dental procedures. But keep in mind that what matters in the end is how much trust your patients have on you and if they find it comfortable to talk to you and share their concerns. Quality care is above everything and providing a spa treatment in the office doesn’t guarantee that!