Being afraid of the dentist is actually quite common. There are a myriad of reasons for this fear, ranging from fear of pain, fear of being out of control of what’s happening to your mouth, previous bad experiences, and gag reflex issues. Yet, taking care of your teeth is a necessity since they are vital to eating, talking, and the appearance of your smile. A dental assistant is usually the first point of contact for these patients, and his or her actions can be what makes the difference between a positive dental experience and a bad one.
VIP Dental Assistant School of Missouri offers training to be a certified dental assistant. Courses are 11 weeks long that combine real-world experience in a dental environment with classroom learning. Contact us today for the next dental assistant training start dates!
TIPS TO SOOTH PATIENTS’ FEAR OF THE DENTIST
- Stick to common topics. The weather is something we all have in common, and something we all like to complain about. Conversation breeds conversation. Cliched openers turn up nuggets that beget richer topics.
- Talk while the dental patient is undergoing the dental procedure. This can be as simple as talking about you did on the weekend or explaining what you are doing in exquisite detail. The one thing to avoid is asking patients questions they can’t answer because their mouths are open.
- Smile while talking. Smiling is contagious and your patient is more likely to smile as well. Smiling has been shown to relieve stress, boost the immune system, lower your blood pressure, and release endorphins.
- Compliment the dental patient. People don’t give out compliments much any more, so a simple, “I love your sweater today,” does wonders for people’s moods.
- Be confident in your words. Remember as a dental assistant, you’re the expert. When you’re explaining a procedure, don’t use words such as, “I guess,” “maybe,” or “I think.” Use definitive words such as, “Afterwards, you will feel,” or, “This procedure will reduce your pain.”
- Have open body language. The last thing you want is to be closed off to questions or be curt to the point patients won’t ask you questions.
Be authentic. Tell dental patients about your hobbies. Tell your jokes. Talk about your family, your weekend, your cats, your dogs, and your recent trip to the mountains.
- Be honest and tell it like it is. If something is going to hurt, let the dental patient know. It’s worse to lie about it or not answer the question and then the dental patient is unprepared for what comes. Pain is a part of getting a tooth fixed sometimes. Most people expect it (it’s one of the reasons people avoid the dentist like avoid the stores on Christmas Eve) and appreciate a little heads-up when it’s coming.
Distraction is key when it comes to helping ease dental patients’ fears of the dentist. Implementing the above tips will help your dental patients feel more comfortable and relaxed at your dental office and during their dental procedures, and, ultimately, will keep them coming back.
VIP Dental Assistant School in St. Louis, Missouri, offers training in becoming a dental assistant. We combine classroom learning with actual practice in our dental offices, making our program unique. Having experience when you apply for dental assistant jobs will open up more doors for you. If you’re interested in a career in dental assisting, we urge you to visit our dental school today. You can sign up for a free tour, see the classroom, and get all of your questions answered. Contact VIP Dental Assistant School today!