Despite advances in dentistry, dental anxiety remains a problem for many. Research in the January 2013 British Dental Journal found that roughly 36 percent of the population experiences dental anxiety while 12% experience extreme dental fear.
Let’s face it – most people do not look forward to a trip to the dentist. While shadowing as a predental, I specifically remember a patient greeting the doctor with, “No offense, but I hate you.” Understandably so. We invade our patients’ personal space, we put instruments in their facial orifices that resemble torture devices, and some of our patients honestly have no idea what we look like under our 20 layers of PPE. It is our responsibility to ensure anxious or fearful patients have the best possible experience during their visits with the hopes that we can make the difference in overcoming their dental phobias. Here are few tips for when you inevitably encounter the patient who hates the dentist.