The dental world can be a busy, demanding and stressful place. But our dental patients also lead hectic, demanding lives, often arriving tired and stressed out by the time they sit down in a dental chair. And a patient who is stressed out just causes more stress to their dental experience and to the dental practice.
They become more difficult to numb, they may react badly to the bill, or they are less likely to accept your treatment recommendations. Or, they are a no-show since they are unable to deal with the added stress of a dental visit. In fact, between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid dentists out of fear and approximately 20% experience so much dental anxiety that they will only go to the dentist when absolutely necessary.
It’s a no brainer: the more you work towards finding the best ways to decrease patient stress, the more positively your patients will respond to their dental experience. It’s a win-win for both of you! So how can you take their dental anxiety down a notch?
3 Tips to Decrease Patient Stress
Educate. The Right Way.
One of the best ways to decrease patient stress is to deliver patient education in the best way for everyone. Aim for consistency and common terms across practitioners to avoid any confusion and also keep staff members in the loop on how to explain each topic or procedure. It’s always important to convey to the patient what they need to do to improve their oral health and why that matters. Thoroughly explaining everything and making sure they understand will help to decrease patient stress.
Rethink the Atmosphere
You can decrease patient stress by rethinking your dental practice atmosphere. Here are some tips on the calming sights and sounds you can add throughout the practice to ensure the patient feels relaxed, calm and stress-free:
-Having fresh flowers visible can make everyone smile
-The sound of water is incredibly soothing. Think fish tanks or serenity fountains for some peaceful sounds to destress.
-Personal headphones are an excellent touch where patients can listen to some soothing music to drown out any unpleasant or scary dental sounds.
-One whiff of having any of these scents wafting through your practice can relieve stress almost instantly
One of the most important ways you can decrease patient stress is with effective post-op management. If done correctly, the patient will leave feeling assured and confident—not more stressed and confused.
For the sake of your dental practice and your patients, consider these 3 ways to decrease patient stress.
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