Patient care is about the prevention, maintenance, and treatment of illness. Dental professionals are caregivers, and comfort is an integral part of caring. There are a number of ways to promote patient comfort, and it all begins with adapting to their needs.
Adjust your surroundings
Patient comfort begins long before administering treatment. Create an atmosphere that diminishes anxiety. This may include relaxing music, affirmative artwork, and calming scents. Some offices go as far as baking fresh cookies, to evoke soothing feelings of assurance.
Seek to understand
An understood patient is a content patient. Allow them an opportunity to share why they’ve been remiss in pursuing treatment. Asking questions about prior experiences and acknowledging concerns, will suppress anxiety.
Consider your patient
Some patients have conditions that may contribute to uneasiness. Temporomandibular disorder and arthritis are conditions that require a mild shift in treatment modality, but whose consideration is most appreciated by your patient.
Warm blankets, neck pillows, wifi, and lip balm are minimal investments, with a big return. With LoopScreen Dental, patients can watch customized content, providing the distraction they need to feel at ease. With easily integrated plug-ins, they can watch Netflix or Hulu while they have a crown prep. When the right environment is created, relaxation is sure to follow.
Give me a break
Taking frequent breaks, will prevent patients from feeling overwhelmed. Schedule extra time with those who need this extra consideration. Those who feel in control of their care, will feel more comfortable with their care.
Administer enough anesthesia for patient’s to feel comfortable, and allow you to do what you need to do. Researchers at Johns Hopkins discovered patient satisfaction is 4.86 times higher, when they felt their pain was adequately controlled. Pain management improves clinical outcomes and elevates patient satisfaction.
Break it up
For the especially anxious patient, break up treatment into multiple shorter appointments. It may take an extra appointment or two, but the end result will be a relaxed, less anxious patient. Comfortable patients make for comfortable and confident clinicians.
Latest and greatest
The right technology can avert uncertainty. Having access to the right tools makes your job more efficient, and easier for patients. Loupes, Cerec machines, and digital x-rays are examples of technology that improved clinical care and patient comfort.
Fortunately, making patients feel comfortable can be as easy as making a few simple changes. Our practice goal should be to make dentistry so convenient, comfortable, and friendly, it changes the way patients feel about going to the dentist.