I think the first thing that the dentist must do to overcome a patient’s dental anxiety is get to know the patient that he is dealing with.
Secondly, the dentist has to make this patient feel at home. That is so important. They have to want to be there. Half the people who come in, don’t want to be there initially, but you have to develop that trust with the patient, or the bond with the patient. After a period of time, what happens is this, it’s really funny, but it’s true. People come in and they’ll say, “You know, I really hate that needle, let’s go.” They begin talking to you like you’re their drinking buddy, and that’s what you want to establish in an office.
You want trust. You need honesty. You have to tell people if this is going to hurt a little, you have to be honest with them and tell them it’s going to hurt. There isn’t any reason why it should, but I’m just saying that the honesty factor is very, very important.
I think that once the person is at home, being where they are, and they can relate to the people around them, and furthermore, they trust the people around them, then you’ve got a home run there. You’re home free, and the anxiety level goes down tremendously.