If you have anxiety about going to the dentist, you are not alone – Over 36 percent of people worldwide suffer from dental anxiety. Dental anxiety can make it difficult to schedule and attend your regular dental appointments, which can lead to tooth and gum issues down the road. Your dentist’s office environment is more important than you think when it comes to your patient experience. Going to a dentist with a calming and relaxing office environment will not only combat dental anxiety, but will also brighten your mood.
Aspects of a Calming Dentist Office Environment
The overall design and atmosphere of your dentist’s office can play a huge role in calming your dental anxiety. The following elements have shown great success in helping patients overcome their strong anxious thoughts and feelings at the dentist’s office.
To position their office as a healing environment, dentists can utilize cool tones of blue and green that evoke a sense of calm. These colors tend to have a relaxing effect on the mind and body, while reds and yellows can increase tension and anxious reactions. Purple, pink and orange are excellent accent colors, but their use should be limited to control their impact on nervous energy. The brightness of the hue matters as well with soft or dark tones offering the biggest benefits in dental office settings.
An absence of fun and welcoming décor in your dentist’s office can leave you feeling out of place and potentially worsen your anxiety. With the smart use of artwork, such as paintings and water features, your dentist can effectively reduce dental anxiety affecting their patients. Paintings of landscapes and nature scenes can help you focus on a positive distraction as you attempt to control your anxious feelings. The cool color schemes used for these paintings can also have a positive impact on anxiety levels. Small knickknacks should be kept to a minimum to prevent the office from looking cluttered, which can trigger feelings of anxiety in some people.
Scent is closely tied with anxious feelings, as a single waft of a related scent can bring memories flowing back. Therefore, the strong, medicinal smell associated with dentist’s offices can have a negative impact on your anxiety levels. VP Dental is known for using essential oils freshen the air and cover the strong scent of the dental care products used in the office. Lavender, lemongrass, sage, and chamomile can all help calm your mind and body as you wait to see the dentist and go ahead with your dental care procedures.
Music can greatly help reduce dental anxiety by distracting your mind and releasing stress. While you listen to music, your body actually reduces its production of stress hormones, including cortisol. Offering music options to patients, like using streaming software such as Pandora or Spotify, can help make patients feel at ease. You can also bring your phone and headphones to stream music during your appointment. When it comes to controlling anxiety, the type of music you listen to does not matter, as long as you enjoy it.
Feelings of dental anxiety can cause you to quickly feel overheated and uncomfortable. Your dentist can help ease your anxious feelings by keeping the office at a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit or below. The reduction in temperature can help you regain control over your anxious thoughts and feelings much faster and easier. Dentists may further increase the comfort of their office with dehumidifiers and air purifiers that help fine-tune the temperature and air quality.
Helpful, comforting items such as soft pillows and blankets, cushy seating options, and plush rugs provide a relaxing environment. When dentists make their office more comfortable, they help their patients reduce dental anxiety naturally. The increase in comfort can keep mild anxiety at bay or prevent severe dental anxiety from escalating out of control. You can bring along your favorite sweatshirt or other comfort items to help you control your symptoms of anxiety during your appointment.
Dentists may offer selections of television shows, movies, sports games, and music videos to help distract anxious patients. Your dentist may even allow you to play console games during your procedures to minimize anxiety symptoms. Ask about all of the entertainment options your dentist offers to find ways to stay distracted and calm during all your preventative and restorative dental care procedures.
Some dentist offices go above and beyond to ensure their patients leave feeling relaxed and well taken care of, by providing spa services. Leaving with your teeth clean and a fresh facial is a relaxing way to end a dentist visit.
When dealing with dental anxiety, you may find it difficult to go in for preventative or cosmetic dental procedures – and that’s okay. This is why a dentist’s office environment should be deciding factor in choosing the right dentist. The right dentist will have excellent patient care, a relaxing environment, and top-notch service to care for you and your smile.
Serving the North Raleigh area for 18 years, VP Dental is dedicated to treating each patient as an individual and focuses on total body health. The team stays current using the very latest in dental technology, wellness practices, and concierge dental care practices. Our goal is to create relationships that make people look and feel their best.