Going to the dentist can be a stressful experience. Perhaps the patient had a bad time once or they heard a horror story from a friend or family member. They still need to go for checkups, though, since gum disease is even scarier.
Getting past this “dental phobia” should not just rest on the shoulders of the patients. Dentists can do a lot to assuage their fears. It won’t take much effort or cause a delay between appointments.
Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
Dentists should not think of the waiting area as a mere place for patients to sit while they wait to be called to the exam room. A dark, dreary room can give them time to brood and focus on the negative thoughts. They should walk into a bright, open area where the staff greets them warmly and makes them feel welcome and valued.
Language barriers can be challenging for all involved. That’s why there are Polish-speaking staff members at Dental Specialists of Niles. Knowing that someone there will be able to comfortably talk with them in their native language can put people at ease even before they walk in an office. This is all part of creating that open atmosphere.
Always Keep Communication Open
Again, this is where having bi- or multi-lingual people working in the office can be a really great thing. The dentist or hygienist can ensure that no explanation can be misinterpreted, which if it does happen, can create some mistrust. Talking in the language that the patient is most comfortable in can eliminate that possibility.
The dentist should be open to explaining their diagnosis to each patient in a way that is easily understood. There’s no worse feeling for someone than one where they feel like they are bystanders to their own procedure with no inkling of what is happening.
They should also be sure to review the patient’s history – with the patient’s input. While some may have been visiting that particular office for many years, it’s always best to refresh one’s memory about any previous conditions… or any new ones.
This does not mean for the dentist to be dismissive of any patient questions. Some people in the medical or dental field may lord their knowledge of their specialty in such a way that it makes them seem unapproachable and that they will only consider their way without even bothering to explain.
Yes, dentists do spend a lot of time in dental school learning the ins and outs of the human mouth and what particular things can happen to them. One can project their competence in something while still putting themselves at a level of a patient and being willing to outline their reasoning.
Pay Attention To Patient Needs
It may seem like each of the above is stacking on each other and leading to the next one. Absolutely. These things go hand in hand.. and this one is a product of all of the previous ones.
A patient may feel nervous and that anxiety will magnify if they feel they aren’t being heard. It can start as a tiny itch if they feel slighted by a front-desk person and mushroom as the appointment goes on.
Part of that may be working with the patient if they are not able to get past the initial phobia. Perhaps they need a mild sedative to get them through it. They may need something stronger. In either case, that’s also when the patient will need someone to drive them home afterwards.
When it comes to putting this all together to ease any fears, Dr. Dorothy Anasinski makes it a priority. Every patient that comes to Dental Specialists of Niles is an important one and everyone there goes out of their way to make them comfortable. Chicagoland residents can give them a call to learn for themselves: 847-685-6686.