Top Strategies for Calming Patients with Dental Anxiety
Despite the myriad of benefits that patients get from maintaining oral hygiene, some people still dread visiting a dentist. Unbeknownst to most people, dental fear and anxiety are common among adults and might lead to extreme oral complications if not addressed. Therefore, dentists try to devise ways to help affected patients beat their anxiety. While dentists can use different strategies, only a few are easy to implement and yield the desired results. This article highlights dental anxiety remedies that dentists should adopt.
Give Patient Control -- One of the most effective ways to treat patients with dental anxiety is to give them control over dental procedures. The anxiety of patients is exacerbated by uncertainty, since they do not know what to expect. For instance, once a dental appointment has been set, a patient will be anxiously counting down the days. However, if you give a patient control over the schedule, their anxiety will drop significantly. Similarly, allow patients to take control of certain parts of a dental procedure. For example, the accumulation of saliva inside the mouth can feel uncomfortable and make a patient nervous. In such situations, a dentist can hand a patient a saliva suction tube so that they can use it whenever they want. This makes them more comfortable, reducing their anxiety.
Appointment Scheduling -- Patient appointments are usually scheduled based on available openings in the dentist's books. However, this is not the right approach if you are dealing with anxious patients because timing matters. For instance, scheduling a dental procedure for a nervous patient in the afternoon might make them worry too much about beating the evening traffic. As such, you must be careful when scheduling appointments for all patients. Appointments for anxious patients should be booked in the mornings when the entire staff is not busy moving around the clinic.
Calming Environment -- While a calm dental clinic interior serves to help all patients, it works wonders for the anxious. The reason is that patients with dental anxiety are extra sensitive, and anything that's off can exacerbate their condition. For instance, if the patient can hear dental equipment sounds from the waiting room, they might leave the clinic. Similarly, if the cleaning agents used in the clinic are too strong, they will not be able to breathe normally, thereby increasing their anxiety. As such, ensure that the environment within the clinic has a calming effect. Use mild air fresheners, soundproofing, and natural lighting, among other strategies, to ensure the patient is as comfortable as possible.
Contact a dentist for more ideas.