Fear of the dentist or dental procedures affects as many as one in five Americans, and serious dental issues can be the result if fear prevents a patient from getting the care they need. A patient’s anxiety or fear can spring from several causes. By better understanding some of the common reasons a patient may feel uneasy, dental providers can take steps to help soothe these fears and make their patient’s visit as comfortable as possible.
Fear of a Painful Experience
A patient may have had a painful visit to the dentist in the past, or they may have heightened anxiety regarding pain in general. The right dental chair accessories can help dental providers create a calming and peaceful atmosphere that values patient comfort and takes every step to make the visit as painless as possible. Patients may find it easier to let go of their fears when they are able to settle into a relaxing position. Memory foam headrests provide patients with the head and neck support they need to be comfortable in a seated or lying position.
Explaining the procedure in detail and outlining the pain-management strategy can be another great way for a dentist or hygienist to help a patient feel more informed and less fearful of the necessary treatment.
Fear of Needles or Sharp Objects
Many people feel uncomfortable at the sight of anesthetic needles or sharp dental tools. Dentists and hygienists should always make sure to position their patients in a way that keeps dental tools out of sight. This can encourage a patient to focus less on the potentially intimidating instruments and more on staying calm.
Traumatic Experience Earlier in Life
Patients who have lived through a distressing event could have some post-traumatic stress associated with that experience. They may struggle with feeling helpless or trapped in the chair, or they could be uncomfortable with a stranger in their personal space.
Helping a patient feel physically comfortable can make a significant impact on their emotional state. Always try to help patients relax and feel more confident that they are in a safe place and with a person who cares about and values their comfort.
Embarrassment About Dental Problems or How Long It’s Been Since Their Last Visit
Patients who have forgotten about or avoided the dentist for long periods of time may fear being judged or scolded about the state of their teeth or the date of their last visit.
Dental providers can promote a non-judgmental atmosphere by focusing on the solution to the patient’s dental problems rather than the cause. Making patient comfort a priority can also send a message that each patient is valued and respected regardless of their past dental history.
At Crescent Products, we understand that patients of all ages can struggle with dental anxieties and fears. We offer three options of memory foam headrests that can make any patient’s visit more peaceful, comfortable and relaxing.