Research shows that approximately 48 per cent of adults in the UK exhibit symptoms of dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is a worrying issue that places the oral health of the patient at great risk. Often patients even avoid necessary dental care because of their fears and anxieties.
To enjoy good oral health and minimise the development of unwanted dental problems, it is paramount that patients attend regular dental screenings at a dentist City of London. When fears and anxieties prevent a patient from receiving the care they need, dental anxiety can trigger a vicious cycle of neglect and major health issues that are not confined to dental issues.
Causes of dental phobia vary, and can originate from the sights and sounds of the dental environment, the fear of pain and needles, loss of control and previous traumatic or unpleasant experiences.
Why a positive dental experience matters
Dental visits that provide a high patient satisfaction work to the advantage of both patient and dental practitioner. The patient is motivated to keep on top of their oral health to the benefit of their happy and healthy smiles and the dental practitioners enjoy the loyalty of their patients as well as support an enviable reputation that attracts new patients.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways with which to create positive dental experiences and minimise anxiety and fear whilst in the dental chair.
Patients look to strong communication from dental practitioners. Not knowing what to expect during a dental appointment can be immensely distressing for some patients. To ease the fear of the unknown, it would help matters if the dental practitioner takes the time to explain in an empathetic way, the procedure process, how it will be carried out, what instruments will be used, how long it will take, etc.
Compassion can go a long way to alleviating patient fears and anxieties which is why it is an important trait that encourages high patient satisfaction. It is ideal if it is not only the dental practitioner who practises compassion towards patients, but the entire staff complement at the dental clinic. Listening to the patient’s fears and concerns and finding suitable ways to address them is a good way of showing compassion. One technique that is used to great effect in reducing dental nervousness is sedation which is made increasingly available at progressive dental clinics.
Providing a pleasant dental environment may not directly impact a satisfactory patient experience but it does help. An aesthetically pleasing and clean atmosphere that looks to the comfort of patients is one of the easiest ways to put nervous patients at ease. A welcoming ambiance can be created by a combination of factors such as natural light, soothing music and comfortable furnishings.
Patients, both young and old, who feel welcomed and encouraged at the dental clinic are most likely to want to repeat their experiences. The opposite is also true. Negative associations will drastically reduce the chances of a patient returning to the dental clinic in the future and may also make them avoid seeking care at another clinic.
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