Dental anxiety is extremely common.

“I hate the dentist”

– most patients

And the reasons for this are often valid. Treatment techniques and mindset have changed drastically over the last 50 years and fortunately in today’s world, it is less.

I, and I trust most of you, put in a special effort for every single anxious patient. Especially children where this anxiety is often precipitated.

In my short few years I’ve come to recognise 5 key techniques that help anxious patients through this difficult time.

Make a Connection

A phobic patient thinks your unhuman! How could you possibly be a dentist! Let them know who you are, find some common ground and they’ll see a different light.

Ensure They Are Heard

Part of many patients anxiety is born out of clinicians who don’t listen to them. Complaints of pain that are dismissed or an inability to voice their concerns.

Remove the Unknowns

Anxiety of any kind is fuelled by unknowns. Let the patient know what you’ll be doing through the appointment, this is especially important in the new patient exam on the anxious patient.

Ask For Permission

Before lying the patient back, a simple statement of the next steps and then asking if it is okay to have a look helps build trust that you are taking it at their pace.

Give the Patient Control

A simple step is to ensure the patient knows that all they have to do is raise their hand, and you’ll be out of there. They very rarely use this other then exceptional circumstances. Yet the effect of control is enormous.

If you’re able to manage and make the anxious patient comfortable and able to have the dental treatment they need, they will be your most loyal patients. And they’re unlikely to keep it to themselves!

Find this useful? This is just one of the many topics covered in this Thursday’s 4Sight Dental Graduate Accelerator Webinar. I’ll be speaking with Dr Jesse Green (Savvy Dentist Podcast) and Dr Omid Azami (Noobie Dentist Podcast) to give your dental career a head start.

During the webinar dentists will learn:
– How to build a career not just find a job
– How to fit into the practice
– Building an appointment book from humble beginnings
– Communicating for success
– Avoiding costly (and confidence sapping) mistakes
– Mentoring – how to make it work for everyone

and much, much more….

When is it? Thursday 30 January at 7:00pm – 9:00pm

How much is it? $89.

Want the Journal too? Use the discount code ‘backtoschool’ to get BOTH the 4Sight Dental Journal and the 4Sight dental Graduate Accelerator webinar.

** Clearly, this is an absolute bargain. Nonetheless, if you feel you don’t get value from this presentation, we will refund your money – no questions asked.

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David is a recent graduate dentist working in private practice in regional NSW, Australia. Read more at

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