When you’ve been wading through root canals, extractions, restorations and even implants, your perceptions change

Patient fear can come from the mystery and misunderstandings of dentistry

When you’ve been wading through root canals, extractions, restorations and even implants, your perceptions change; what’s totally commonplace to a dentist can be mysterious and even frightening to a patient.

Take, for example, a dental veneer procedure — you’ve done this dozens, if not hundreds of times, but it’s likely the patient you’re performing each procedure on is totally new to it.

We all know a properly informed and prepared patient will be less anxious, making it easier for you to perform the particular procedure.

Not to mention a well-informed patient will have a more realistic expectation of the outcome. So let’s look at a dental veneer procedure and how you might prepare the patient to avoid both of these problems.

Tell your patient the first step will be examination, to make sure that dental veneers are appropriate. You could also say x-rays may be taken.

Gently explain the scariest parts of the procedure – taking x-rays, enduring a local anaesthetic, removing half a millimetre of enamel – in plain language.

Explain that the model or impression of the tooth/teeth you make will be sent to Biterite (or your current lab), and the lab will construct a tooth.

If the patient will have an unsightly dental appearance in the meantime, they could also be assured a temporary is available.

Tell your patient that you will temporarily place the veneer to examine its fit and colour and may repeatedly remove and trim it to achieve the proper fit.

Explain the cleaning, polishing and etching that allows for a strong bonding process and that they will be a follow-up visit to check how the gums are responding to the veneer and to re-examine the veneer’s placement.

All this might seem obvious, but it’s incredible how the clinical world of dentistry can remove us from the fears of the average patient. Keeping in mind the fear and the mystery so often attached to our industry will help us understand the patient’s needs while in the practice.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave a comment here or get in touch on our social media accounts:

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Image courtesyof: Graur Razvan Ionut

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