Ryan was just in to get some work done for the first time in our office. He started relating how much he hated dentistry because of a truly horrific childhood experience. (His might take the cake!)
One of the cool things that we do at our staff meetings is review our ‘Positive Patient Experiences’. Basically, the PPE’s are a chance for us to focus on one of the best aspects of what we do in here. We try to remember that we’re not just working for a paycheck, but have the luxury of helping people improve the quality of their lives and health, which is truly a gift.
It could be Cindee helping someone figure all of the logistics of fitting our schedules together, working out financing or just supporting a patient through the whole process.
For most patients it’s exposing them to whole new way to perceive ‘going to the dentist’.
One of the best things I learned from my dad was how to use humor and having a good time to distract patients from everything that is going on. Especially for those that are pretty anxious about dentistry it’s better than using pharmacologic agents for every reason, but mostly because the patients don’t feel like they’ve used a ‘crutch’, This way they feel empowered that they’ve gotten through the experience themselves, without any perceived help. On top of it they just flat out have a good time while they’re in here.
The end result is that we undo a lot of the scars from previous experiences and often actually have them look forward to coming back in. Sounds crazy, but it’s not uncommon for us.
As much fun as it is to do a total make-over of someone’s smile, or as enjoyable as it is to feel the appreciation of getting someone out of pain they aren’t as challenging as helping someone change their bad perceptions of what it’s like to go to the dentist.