6 Steps to Improve Your Patients’ Dental Appointments
Many people get nervous before their dental check-ups and appointments. Dental assistants may see patients who are uneasy around drills and sharp dental instruments. Some people even avoid going to the dentist because of fear and anxiety. As a dental assistant, you want to make sure your patients feel safe and comfortable during their appointments.
If you’re looking for ways to help calm your patients and increase your dental practice’s reputation, then consider these tips to help make your patients more comfortable during their dental visits.
Tip #1: Make your patients feel welcome
Dental assistants can help their patients feel more comfortable with a welcoming attitude. Invite your patients in and ask them how they’re feeling. To relax patients, ask them about their interests, weekend plans, or families. You can help build professional relationships with your patients so they feel more comfortable and trust you more.
Tip #2: Explain procedures to patients
Dental patients may feel uncomfortable because they don’t know how dental instruments will be used during their check-up or appointment. Take a skeletal teeth model and show them how your instruments will be used. Explain what the movement or procedure does to help the patient’s dental health. If patients understand how certain cleaning techniques or procedures help their teeth, they may feel less nervous about the appointment. Remember to be gentle with patients if they’re nervous!
Tip #3: Distract patients
You can distract your dental patients by talking during their procedures. As you go about the appointment, explain what step will be performed next. If your patient is undergoing a procedure where anesthesia is required, you and the doctor can let them know how much you are using and that you will be by their side throughout the whole process. You can also calm your patients down by playing relaxing music.
Tip #4: Educate your patients
Educate your patients while you have the opportunity to see them. Let your patients know that avoiding dental appointments can only make any dental problems worse. Educate them on proper dental health, and remind them that regular 6-month check-ups can help detect any oral health issues that they may not catch otherwise. Let patients know you care about their health and want them to stay healthy!
Tip #5: Let patients stay in control
Let patients maintain control by creating a safety system with them. If they are feeling uncomfortable or having pain, plan a gesture for your patients to signal. The signal can be a hand raise or a thumbs down. Remind your patients that it’s ok to gesture whenever they feel any discomfort. This step will help your patients know you care about their well-being. Make sure to ask patients throughout the appointment if they’re feeling all right.
Tip #6: Show professionalism
If your patients are still nervous, let them know about your qualifications. You can let them know where you went to dental assistant school and how many patients you assist on a daily basis. Assure them that you’ve gone through all the necessary training to get where you are today.
Following these tips can help foster a safe environment in your dental office. Comforting patients can show your employer and patients that you’re a dedicated healthcare worker. It can build a good reputation for the dental practice and your skills as a kind dental assistant. Using these tips may even help your patients stay on top of regular dental check-ups.
This article is provided by the Harris School of Business’ weekly blog. Our dental assistant training program is offered at our campuses in Upper Darby, PA, Voorhees, NJ, and Wilmington, DE. Contact us today to learn more about our dental school, training programs, or to schedule a tour.