One of the main reasons people avoid going to the dentist is because of fear and anxiety. They saw a movie or television show that depicted a dentist in a bad light, had an adverse childhood experience, or became anxious about potential side effects like pain. Although they know visiting the dentist is necessary for optimal health, the fears culminating in their minds convince them it’s not worth it. While it would be nice if a conversation before a dental procedure would ease their anxieties, it often takes more effort.
So, how do dentists help their patients overcome their fears and prioritize oral health? They utilize technological resources like those listed below.
Laser Dental Technology
What scares a patient more than anything? The loud drilling noises, sharp tools, and pain experienced during a procedure. Laser dentistry provides a practical solution that could ease your patient’s fears. The technology reduces the pain and swelling when cutting tissue. It’s also less invasive and takes less time to complete, ensuring the patient can get in and out of the dentist’s chair faster.
Anesthesia should be a great way to reduce fear and anxiety for dental patients. It numbs the affected area so the dentists can perform procedures without causing too much pain. Unfortunately, administering the anesthesia isn’t pleasant. Dentists must use a needle on sensitive areas. As many people have a fear of needles, it only exacerbates their anxiety.
The anesthesia wand is an advanced technology that enables dentists to administer medication with a pen-like device that gradually pushes the anesthetic into the gums. It’s essentially painless, making it easier to keep your patients calm.
3D Carbon Printed Dental Products
Another struggle for dentists is getting patients to return for multi-appointment procedures. It means the patient must overcome their anxieties multiple times to get the desired results. Fortunately, 3D carbon printing solutions like outsourcing to a digital dentures lab save you and your patient time.
Simply scan the patient’s mouth using the laser scanner, submit your images to the dentures lab, and the product is designed, printed, and shipped to your office. Ultimately, your patient could have a complete set of pearly whites in just two visits.
Sometimes, the best way to show a patient they have nothing to fear is to show them. There is an increased interest in using virtual reality devices in the dental industry. These devices create simulations that allow patients to put themselves in the room and experience the procedure from start to finish. When they see the process, the advanced equipment, and the outcome, it can convince them to proceed with their appointment.
Relieving patient anxiety doesn’t always require thousands of dollars in dental technology. Sometimes, you can use everyday entertainment devices to calm your nerves. Turn on some upbeat or soothing music for them to listen to during the procedure. Kids enjoy watching their favorite cartoons on television and will often zone out for hours. Another option is to supply the patients with headphones to listen to their playlists, shows, movies, or podcasts on their smartphones.
Lastly, dentists shouldn’t overlook the usefulness of digital marketing strategies like videos. They can be instrumental in helping you to debunk the myths and ease the fears of your target audience.
For example, ask a patient that was once fearful of the dentist to help you create a video to post on social media. They could talk about their concerns, how you helped to overcome them, and their experience throughout the procedure.
Another suggestion would be to create a demonstration or explainer video about the latest technologies used to simplify otherwise painful and complicated procedures.
Dental fears and phobias are real and plague millions of people worldwide. Dental professionals should be aware of this and utilize the resources available to help ease their anxieties. Thankfully, there are dental technologies changing procedures and improving patient experiences. Use tools like laser technology, digital dental labs, virtual reality, entertainment devices, and marketing videos to encourage hesitant audiences to prioritize their oral health.