A number of your patients will likely face dental anxiety when coming into your practice. As a matter of fact, one recent study of 18,000 people showed that 61% of them felt at least some type and level of anxiety about dental visits.
Patient anxiety can compound over days, weeks, and months, potentially affecting your dental practice staff’s ability to provide the best services to these individuals — but there are a number of ways you can help patients deal with their dental anxiety.
Effectively and Proactively Communicating
Communication will be the key to relieving stress for a number of your patients. By providing more information about procedures and dentistry in general, you can help your patients feel secure every step of the way.
This communication also gives patients, dental anxiety or not, an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about their main areas of concern.
Some patients may also feel more comfortable once they get to know you and your staff. Once they are familiar with the people who are helping them on their journey to better dental health, it may remove some uncertainty.
Effectively and proactively communicating what you are planning to do and why you are doing it with your patients also includes your tone of voice. A calm, confident demeanor can help reassure your patients, especially during a stressful situation.
Playing Peaceful Sounds in Your Practice
Utilizing classical music and ambient noise is a simple way to help patients feel safer and more comfortable at your practice. These sounds can be a great distraction and relieve some of their dental anxiety.
You can also utilize these sounds in your examination areas, which is likely where your patients’ anxiety becomes more apparent, to help drown out the sounds of humming and whirring dental machinery.
Incorporating Art Into Your Practice
Many people enjoy art, and they often find particular pieces soothing. When you add art pieces to your dental practice, you can help patients relax by giving them something to take in other than their current environment.
Make sure to consider the colors and styles you're using for your artwork, as some colors are less calming than others. Choosing blue and green tones instead of reds and oranges are generally better options for instilling feelings of serenity.
You can choose wall hangings, floor decoration, and certain, smaller interactive pieces meant to be touched or handled by patients.
Solid Patient Relationships Help to Grow Your Practice
Developing a reputation for creating a relaxing environment for anxious patients showcases both to the individual patient and potential patients that you truly care about the relationships you develop as a dental care provider. Cultivating an environment that goes the extra mile to ensure patient comfort is a great way to bring more people into your dental practice.
In addition, there are a number of other ways to grow your patient list, including through:
- Curating an online presence.
- Obtaining and utilizing patient reviews.
- Participating in local community outreach programs.
But these are just the beginning. Access our e-book on growing your dental patient list for in-depth information on strategies to build a successful dental practice.