July 12, 2023 • 12 mins read

The Power of Communication: Tips for Dentists to Help Patients Feel More Relaxed

Dentists should prioritize communication with patients to help them feel more relaxed and comfortable during dental visits. Fear of pain or discomfort can be a major barrier.



Danielle Duncan

Tips for Dentists

When it comes to dentistry, many patients feel anxious and stressed. Fear of pain or discomfort can be a major barrier to seeking dental care. As a dentist, it is important to prioritize communication with your patients in order to help them feel more relaxed and comfortable during their visits. 

What is Dental Phobia?

Dental phobia, also known as dentophobia, is a fear or anxiety associated with visiting the dentist or receiving dental care. It can range from mild apprehension to severe panic and can have a significant impact on an individual’s oral health if left untreated. 

People with dental phobia may avoid going to the dentist altogether, which can lead to serious dental problems and the need for more invasive and costly treatments in the long run. It is important to address dental phobia and seek support from a dental professional to maintain good oral health.

Breaking Down the Dental Anxiety Statistics:

Approximately 36% of all people in the United States experience anxiety when faced with the thought of getting dental treatments, with about 12% experiencing extreme dental phobia. 

Many people are afraid of the pain associated with dental treatment and may also have extreme anxiety when faced with the potential high cost of treatment due to the lack of coverage found with many dental insurance plans. 

Tips for Dentists
Here are a few tips to keep in mind in teaching patients how to cope with dentist anxiety:

Establish Trust: 

Trust is key to any successful relationship, and the dentist-patient relationship is no exception. Take time to build rapport with your patients, listen to their concerns and answer their questions honestly. Explaining procedures and treatments in detail can help alleviate anxiety and make patients feel more comfortable.

Be Empathetic: 

Acknowledge your patients’ fears and concerns. It’s important to understand that dental anxiety is a real phenomenon and can be triggered by past experiences or simply the unknown. By showing empathy and understanding, you can help put your patients at ease.

Use Positive Language: 

The words you choose can have a big impact on how your patients perceive their experience. Avoid using negative or scary language, and instead focus on positive and reassuring phrases. For example, instead of saying “this procedure may be painful,” try saying “we will do everything we can to make sure you feel comfortable and relaxed during the procedure.”

Offer Options: 

Some patients may benefit from additional support, such as sedation or relaxation techniques. Be sure to discuss these options with your patients and help them choose the best approach for their individual needs. 


After a procedure or appointment, follow up with your patients to check in on their well-being and address any concerns they may have. This demonstrates your commitment to their care and can help build a stronger, more trusting relationship.

Tips for Dentists
Offer to Help Lower Bills By Billing Medical Insurance: 

When it comes to dental procedures, patients can feel understandably anxious about the cost of treatment. However, billing medical insurance for these procedures can help alleviate some of this anxiety. By utilizing medical insurance for dental procedures, patients may be able to reduce their out-of-pocket expenses and feel more at ease about their financial situation. This can ultimately lead to a more positive and stress-free experience for patients, which is always the goal of healthcare providers.

By prioritizing communication and empathy, and understanding the burden of costs patients face, dentists can help patients feel more relaxed and comfortable during their visits. This can lead to better oral health outcomes and a more positive patient experience overall.

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