Making patients comfortable in your practice

Customer service is important in all industries. In dentistry, there is an added issue with our customers, i.e. the issue of fear. Because of the added concern or fear that many people have, we must offer an even higher level of customer service. There are real steps you can take to reduce dental fear. First, recognize it is a true phobia and many patients have it. Many times, you get numb to your surroundings; and your daily patient activities in the office lead to not slowing down and helping your patients work through their reservations.

Recognize fear is real, and identify what patients are afraid of specifically.

Not all patients are afraid of the dentist for the same reason. The reasons can vary and may be any one of the following:

• Fear of pain

Stems from early dental experiences or horror stories told by others

• Fear of injections

Terrified of needles or fear injection won’t work

• Feeling of helplessness/loss of control/claustrophobia

Too much going on in small space and no control over any of it

• Embarrassment and loss of personal space

Too close or bad teeth/breath

• Fear of anesthetic side effects

Such as dizziness, feeling faint, nauseated, or the “fat lip” feeling

By speaking directly with the patient and narrowing down the specifics of the fear, you and your team can better address concerns to help a patient deal with the situation. Ask the patient to explain what they don’t like about coming to the dentist, what their past experiences have been, or what triggers their anxiety. Once you determine what they don’t like, you can talk about how your office will help with that issue or how your office might do it differently than they experienced in the past.

Once you know the basis of the patient’s fear, you and your team can step up and act. Show your patient breathing techniques and/or how to count backwards. Many times, other dentists and teams have not shown their patients ways to mitigate the fear. Relaxation techniques will go a long way in helping patients cope, by knowing you are by their side during this nervewracking procedure.

As a team, try to be there for patients in the ways they need. Maybe it’s by exhibiting humor throughout the procedure to keep them in a good mood or holding a hand so they know someone is watching over them. Take the time to get to know your patient’s individual needs to demonstrate a better dental experience.

Always communicate frequently and clearly with the patient. Often, a dental appointment fear stems from fear of the unknown. Keep the patient informed, describe what will happen along the way, and answer any questions, so they will be able to prepare themselves for each step. Tell them what they may feel at a certain point, how long a certain step will take, and how they can let you know if they need a break or feel anything out of the ordinary. Once they get through each step successfully, they will begin to trust that they can get through the entire procedure.

The three things everyone on the team should remember when assisting any patient and especially anxious patients are:

1. Respect the patient

2. Put yourself in the patient’s place

3. Treat the patient like a family member

Anytime you question if something should or could be done for a patient to make the experience better, remind yourself of these three most important aspects of a patient’s visit. Take the time to treat the patient’s fear and anxiety, not just the tooth.

Your Practice Matters To Us

Successful online dental team training requires communication, planning, and starting off on the right foot. So we’ve created a “Getting Started Checklist” designed to help you and your team implement training.

Book Your Onboarding Call 

Enroll Your Team and assign tracks

Visit the first track “Getting Started” 

Every office is unique as well as every team member in a dental practice. If you want training on a specific topic, these course tracks are for you!

Rockstar Restart – Reopening 

New Patient Accelerator 

Looking for more support? Our coach led training was curated to train your team for you.

View our coach led training options here. 

Our monthly membership starts at $224 per month for up to 20 team members and includes every course, module, and resource on our site.

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Our monthly membership starts at $2250 per year for up to 20 team members and includes every course, module, and resource on our site.

Sign Up Now

 

Every office is unique as well as every team member in a dental practice. If you want training on a specific topic, or you need help getting started. Talk with us first!

Schedule A Free Training Assessment

 

This event will inspire you and challenge you to change the way you view the phones, patient communication, and customer service in your dental practice. Don’t just settle for the status quo or the way it’s always been done.

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When we learn how our patients process information and understand that Case Acceptance is a team approach, we can effectively HELP our patients to say YES to treatment and actually get them to pay.

  • Train with us live in person or watch live from your office. 

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To truly make an IMPACT in your practice, you need to start with understanding the importance of setting goals that IMPACT the team and the patients as well as creating a productive schedule that empowers you to reach SMARTER goals.

Train with us live in person or watch live from your office.

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Looking for your next event speaker? 

As the leading authority on virtual dental front office training, Laura helps dental professionals who want to be better at what they do gain the training they need through online video courses, live seminars, and coaching. Learn more about Laura’s approach and how to book her for your next event.

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