A visit to the dentist is stressful for most people. The thought of all those mysterious dental instruments, screeching drills and numbing needles are scary enough on the table, let alone inside ones mouth. And then there’s the fear of the pain resulting in dental work. So, it is important for a dental assistant to calm the patient and make them feel more comfortable before the dentist begins.
Here are 4 proven ways dental assistants can make their patients feel more comfortable.
1. Engage The Patient
Create an inviting environment from the second the patient enters the office. Say hello, introduce yourself and ask them if they need anything while they wait for their appointment. A friendly, calm welcome will reduce the stress felt by the patient. Engage them in conversation by asking them questions about their hobbies, the weather or their favorite dessert. Then a conversation about the reason for their appointment.
2. Go Through The Exam
A tray full of dental instruments, electric drills and other dental equipment is very intimidating to a patient. Dental assistants can ease a patient’s mind by sharing exactly how the instruments are used. Use a teeth model visual aid to explain how each instrument is used. Sharing how the dentist will numb a tooth for a procedure will prepare them in advance. Even for routine cleanings this process not only relieves their stress, but shows them some proper techniques to use when they return home.
3. Make Them Feel Safe
Give the patient a signal or hand gesture to use in case they are afraid or experiencing high pain during the procedure. This will ease their anxiety.
4. Keep Patients Busy
Dental assistants can keep the patient’s mind off of the procedure. While the dentist is working, keep talking to the patient with a friendly, calm tone. Even though they won’t be able to answer, they will be listening to what you say and how you say it. Playing music during dental procedures is also helpful.
A dental assistant is a very important part of a dental visit and following these tips will be instrumental in the overall experience and future dental care.