Understandably, it is sometimes difficult to run exactly to time in dentistry, as some procedures may require more attention or complications occur, but for nervous patients to sit around for ages to wait for their appointment to start could be a real nightmare.
A solution in this regard could be setting up appointments for new patients or those identified as nervous for slots when you are most likely to be on time, first one of the day, for instance, or the first one after lunch.
Meet your patient
A simple walk into the waiting room, introducing yourself to the nervous patient and showing the way in, topping up with a polite, friendly chat on the way to surgery could do wonders. These way patients feel supported and are less likely to be intimidated by entering the surgery for the first time.
Although at most clinics, large ones in particular, nurses are greeting the patients and providing this sort of care, showing their way to the surgeries and reassuring the patients, doctors are invited to make this step for patients with dental phobia.
Hide your tools
Working daily in the same environment may make you blind how it really looks. Why not try walking out, clearing your mind, and entering back in with observant approach and focusing on details. Every dental tool nervous patients are likely to see will think is there to work on them. So, keeping the tray with instruments out of patients’ sight might be a good idea.
If the situation permits, ask your patient to choose what dental chair they would feel more comfortable in receiving the treatment, or in which particular position: upright or lying back. This may sound silly, but giving some choices to patients may restore their sense of control and involvement in the process and thus ease the burden of the effects of dental phobia. By showing you are willing to be flexible and respond to their need, you will build the needed trust.
Talk to them
Talk to the nervous patients; listen carefully to all their fears and things they have to say. Do not rush to make conclusions or offer solutions, ask questions instead. If you let them speak, they will reveal little details that will help you understand why this dental anxiety persists in the first place and help you find words to comfort the patient.
Honest conversation before treatment is the key to manage a good working relationship and manage expectations. Consider chat to them throughout the treatment as well and telling them what are you doing or planning to do. You don’t have to go into details of course, but keeping the patients updated will keep their fear thoughts away and it will boost their confidence in your skills.
By following these techniques you may help the patients with dental phobia overcome their fears. You will gain a patient for life and they are more likely to recommend you to their friends. Finally, there is nothing more emotionally rewarding to see another human overcoming what was previously an insupportable problem in their lives.