Using Psychology in Dentistry

Dr. Jessica Martin joined us back in November of 2019 for Episode #28 of the Progressive Dentist podcast. Dr. Martin is the founder of Martin Management and co-owner of Martin Dental, a dental practice in Eau Claire, Wisconsin that uses a unique strategy to grow and scale their business. With a background in psychology, Dr. Martin has been able to address the mental barriers and phobias patients experience before visiting. Once those phobias are eliminated, the case acceptance rate skyrockets. In this episode of the Progressive Dentist, Dr. Martin shares a psychological perspective regarding the fears and anxieties dental practitioners face amidst the global pandemic. She also provides insights about what you can do to facilitate a successful front office reset.

Dental Anxiety

Prior to the global pandemic, many people already had some form of dental anxiety. But as things pick up and we start to practice again, people are going to have even more anxieties about receiving healthcare than ever before. Luckily, the nature of their anxiety is roughly the same. Dental offices have a very clinical feel to them, and so many sensory elements are commonly overlooked. There are simple strategies you can put in place to absolve your patients’ fears and alleviate the sensory assaults that make their experiences uncomfortable. It is on an entirely new level, but the fears are generally coming from the same place. People are concerned with their health and safety, but there are steps you can take to improve their experience.

Strategies for Alleviating Fear

Whether patient experience is a priority at your practice or not, there are simple strategies you can use to help patients overcome their compounded anxiety. You can start by communicating every measure you are taking to ensure their safety. Another strategy is to develop a system for inquiring about patients’ feelings and emotions towards dentistry based on their dental history. You can also teach your team how to read nonverbal cues so they can pick up on any fears or anxieties the patient is not disclosing. All of these tactics will impact your bottom line in an unprecedented time like this—dental anxiety is important to address now more than ever.
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