Did you know that about 1 in 10 Americans are legitimately scared of the dentist? Studies show that approximately 5%-10% of U.S. adults have dental phobia so severe that they avoid receiving dental care at all costs. And for every adult who has fear or anxiety about dental treatment, there are assuredly more children who share the same sentiments. Unfortunately, too many adults and children willfully forego dental care simply because of anxiety. This doesn’t just hurt their oral health, but it can hurt your bottom line, too.
So what can you do as a dental practice to better cater to these patients and encourage them to receive regular dental treatments? It’s actually quite simple: just eliminate their fear.
When a patient says “I don’t like the dentist,” chances are they’re not referring to the actual dental professional. Rather, they just don’t like the pain they feel at the dentist. Most of that perceived pain comes from the injections patients receive during treatment, but with the technology available in the dental industry today, there’s really no reason why patients should have to experience pain during dental treatments.
Advertise with Your Pain-Free Promise
If your dental office uses some of these latest tools and techniques that virtually eliminate all pain during treatment for patients, make sure they know about it! Include that promise in your direct mailers, on advertisements, and especially on your website. Tell patients why they won’t experience any pain, and most importantly, live up to that promise when they’re actually in the chair.
Capitalize on Sedation Dentistry
Even for patients who don’t have severe anxiety about the dentist, they can still get a little uneasy at the sound of the drill. If your practice offers sedation dentistry, even if it’s just nitrous oxide, use it as an incentive in your marketing materials. If you offer more advanced services like oral or I.V. sedation, using the “dentistry while you sleep” promise is a great way to entice both new and existing patients to opt for the treatment they need.
Make a Pain-Free Guarantee
For some patients, it might not be enough for you to just tell them about your pain-free promise. If you’re confident that your patients will truly have a pain-free promise, consider offering a guarantee for their visit! Offer them an incentive such as a discount on the treatment cost, a free whitening kit, or even a gift card if they really aren’t happy with the treatment they received.
Helping both new and current patients realize that their dental visit doesn’t have to involve pain is a great way to keep them coming back for regular treatments, and it ensures that their smiles will be the best that they can be, too.