Many exhibit some form of trepidation when they are making a visit to the dentist. This is likely caused by an unpleasant experience which they endured during their childhood. Yet even though techniques have improved dramatically over the years, that feeling of hesitance still remains for many. What are dentists doing to alleviate this?
Many dentists today are practising a new way of interacting with their clients. They are exhibiting forms of body language that are meant to reassure the patient and are being very careful with their choice of words.
To start off with, your dentist will now exude a lot of confidence with their gestures and their posture. They make sure that any arm and hand movements that they make are clear and with reason, as this communicates purpose to the patient. They are making sure to maintain good eye contact with the patient, which in turn communicates that the patient is 'in charge' and the dentist is respecting what they say.
When it comes to verbal interaction, they are avoiding the use of language that sounds too 'clinical'. They are also avoiding negative words. Many people may associate the word 'drill' with a rather negative outcome in terms of the potential for pain in the dentist's chair. Consequently, dentists these days are calling such a tool a 'hand piece' instead. Instead of advising a patient that the injection 'won't hurt', they are framing it in a more positive way by saying something like 'you probably won't feel this'.
Tell, Show, Do
Dentists are also becoming far more explanatory when it comes to reassuring apprehensive patients. This is based on the technique known as 'tell, show, do' which was originally developed for children but has been shown to be equally as effective when it comes to nervous adults.
First, the dentist will explain exactly what they plan to do and then they will demonstrate this by showing the equipment to the patient and demonstrating a visual of the technique on their own hand. Then they will go ahead and perform the procedure. This is all part of establishing a good rapport with the client and asking the patient for feedback as this method of communication continues.
All these measures are meant to reassure the patient that they are in control at all times and to help them get over the fear of the unknown, which is at the root of most dental phobias. Modern-day dentists know that if you are pleased by your visit then you are far more likely to keep with a course of practice and might even look forward to your next visit to the dentist's chair.
If you have specific questions about dental treatment, whether it's for something like cosmetic dentistry or more general treatment, contact a clinic in your area today.Share
28 October 2016
As a retired dentist, I work with charities which visit developing countries and educate children about dental care. It gives me great satisfaction to revisit these communities and see how proud the children are of their efforts. I am acutely aware that good dental hygiene can help prevent a range of serious conditions when these children become older. I started this blog because it greatly distresses me that many people in Australia do not seem to care for their teeth as much as children in these poor communities. This is happening despite ready access to items like toothbrushes and toothpaste which are luxuries in the places I visit. It is my hope that this blog encourages you not to take dental health for granted. My greatest wish is that you can be as inspired as the children I see in my charity work. Please read on and enjoy.