Screening patients with phobia in the dental surgery

Screening patients with phobia in the dental surgery

Phobia is the fear, often unjustified and irrational, of the act of dentistry, in our case.

However, on a large scale, phobia encompasses intense and persistent fear of certain situations, objects or states.

Phobia can take many forms and can be a fear of public speaking, crowded places or things or objects. In this case, the phobia is the act of dentistry, certain instruments or simply the white color of the dentist’s coat.

It is well known that some patients develop a real phobia of the color white, which they associate with the hospital or certain painful procedures such as injections or other interventions.

Patients who have a phobia of the dentist are characterized by certain parameters, which make it easier for us to detect them and possibly to modify the therapeutic plan so as to give them more attention:

Patients with dental phobia are less likely to walk into dental surgeries. Most of the time, they postpone the medical visit until the last moment, when the pain is already present and the medical act becomes more traumatic, more invasive and the pain cannot be completely abolished by anesthesia. New patients are also prone to suffer from dentist phobia. Any new patient should be treated as a potential phobic patient.

Patients with phobias tend to postpone appointments or even cancel them, citing various reasons.

Some phobic patients manage to make an appointment with the dentist when their dental pain is very bad, but if they take painkillers in the meantime and it subsides, they choose not to come. But since without treatment of the cause, the pain is likely to come back, they make the appointment again and so on.

This cycle continuing until the patient doesn’t call me at all or until the doctor decides not to work with such types, the patient will also be left without treatment and with pain that will constantly flare up again.

  • Anxious patients will often come accompanied. Almost any adult patient for whom another person makes the appointment or who comes accompanied by someone else will be approached from the outset as a patient who is highly likely to have a phobia of dental procedures. In such cases it would be good to clarify over the phone why the appointment is being made by another person and since when the patient in question has not been for a dental check-up.

Patients who are agitated in the waiting room, sweating or conveying a state of anxiety are often problem patients and treatment in their case will take longer due to lack of cooperation.

These are subjective methods of detecting anxious patients in the dental office.

The doctor or nurse can guide the detection of these types of patients.

Furthermore, by completing questionnaires aimed at detecting such patients, the doctor can confirm or refute the initial suspicion.

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