Become a Hero to Your Anxious Dental Patients

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Patient Attraction Episode 721

Odontophobia, or dental fear, occurs in every country around the globe. Every dentist has dealt with anxious or fearful patients, and every dentist has lost some of those patients. After the break, I’ll tell you how to market to the dentally fearful.

– How many patients have told you that they look forward to their next visit?

– I’m Colin, and welcome to the Patient Attraction Podcast.

– A 2014 study looked at the rates of dental anxiety and fear in different countries.

– It found that about 10 percent of patients in Iceland experience dental fear.

– In Japan, 42 percent of Japanese dental patients experience fear.

– Those are staggering numbers.

– People tend to avoid what they fear.

– You’ve had patients defer dental treatment until their condition was very serious.

– There have been some early attempts at marketing to the dentally fearful.

– “Gentle” dentistry, “pain-free” dentistry, and “we cater to cowards.”

– You probably know how well those work.

– Once you have fearful patients in your practice, there’s a lot you can do to ease their fears.

– But how do you get fearful patients to make and keep an appointment before pain drives them to it?

– Let’s simplify and say that fear comes from bad experiences, horror stories from others, and anticipation of embarrassment or loss of control.

– Against those fears, you have 4 main assets.

– The first is today’s advanced 3D imaging, which has reduced complications for a number of procedures.

– That means fewer bad experiences, and both patient and dentist are forewarned.

– The second asset are the glowing patient testimonials on your website, and particularly in your social media.

– Emphasizing those two assets provides new learning, which can reassure the fearful.

– The third is you and your staff.

– A nonjudgmental attitude and allowing the patient to dictate the pace of procedures can work wonders.

– Those speak to fear of embarrassment and loss of control.

– Finally, sedation dentistry is working very well for dentists who get the training to offer it.

– Being able to offer “pain-free,” “memory-free,” or “sleep” dentistry goes a long way toward reaching the fearful patient.

– Feature those 4 assets prominently in your marketing if you can to attract, convert, and treat the dentally fearful.

– Join me for tomorrow’s podcast on why audience engagement is a must.

– Until then, keep moving forward.