6 Ways to Help a Patient Dental Anxiety or Phobia

6 Ways to Help a Patient Dental Anxiety or Phobia

 In your experience as a dentist, you most probably encountered a patient having anxiety or fear of having a visit to the clinic. These two cases, dental anxiety and dental phobia, are common which may be due to traumatic experiences, natural or acquired phobia, or mental health conditions. Whatever the cause is, dental anxiety and phobia can lead to the patient avoiding clinic visits which ultimately result in dental issues. That’s why “the vicious cycle of dental anxiety” exists. As a dentist, you need some form of dental anxiety relief. Here are ways to help a patient with dental anxiety or phobia 

Offer Pre-treatment Sessions

Before getting straight to any dental procedure, you may want to invite your patient to a consultation. It is a simple yet significant step to help the patient get comfortable with you and the whole experience.

Communicate with Empathy

For a patient, knowing that the dentist cares about how the patient feels helps in dental anxiety relief. Listen to them and tell them that their feelings are valid. Make them feel welcome. DentistryIQ.com recommends the “tell-show-do technique” where you “tell” descriptively the procedure, “show” using models and other visual aids, and “do” as promised. Also, during the procedure, check on them once-in-a-while.  

Show Professionalism

You want your patient to trust you to lessen the fear and anxiety. You can establish trust between you and your patient by showing them professionalism; that you know what you are doing. Accurately explain the diagnosis and procedure. This takes away some of their fears of something bad happening to their experience. 

Create Positive Distraction

Some patients get anxious about the sound of the drills, the thought of the needle, and other experiences in the dental chair. Create good distraction by playing music, making them watch a TV show or a movie, or make your clinic smell like lavender which is often associated with relaxation

Use Distress Reduction Devices

Thanks to technology, there are innovative solutions that offer dental anxiety relief. One dental device is the Sanctum device.

Sanctum is a therapeutic dental device that provides relaxation and distraction during treatment, optimal eye protection and unprecedented post-procedural recovery for every patient.

Here are key features of this product:

  • Acupressure
  • Thermotherapy
  • Vibrational massage
  • Audio analgesia
  • Distraction Therapy
  • Complete eye protection

A lot of dental anxiety relief benefits PLUS protection in one device! What’s good is that it is comfortable, lightweight and easily adjustable: the elastic headband fits all head sizes and is adjustable for comfort and distraction. Check the product page for full information about this product.

As a dentist, it is one to treat the patient, yet another to help ease the fear and anxiety of your patients. By applying these practical techniques, not only will you do your job well and complete the whole treatment, but will also add to your reliability as a dentist.