Fear of the dentist? How the waiting room can help

Progressive dentists upgrade waiting areas to put patients at ease

How many of us, when we visit our dentist, are left waiting in a dingy room with the walls covered in images of oral problems and mouth cancers? Let’s face it; it’s not the sort of thing that you want to see before you see your dentist is it?

Of course, the décor is not the most important thing by far and the actual quality of the care and treatment that you receive is of prime importance, but as fear of the dentist looms large in many people’s minds, it would seem to make sense to make the environment as pleasant as possible; after all, it doesn’t have to cost a great deal.

Some dentists do recognise this fact and this progressive dentist in Ashby has taken care to make sure that their waiting room is a pleasant environment to be in. Simply by ensuring that the room is painted in relaxing pastel shades can make a great deal of difference to a nervous patient as can the addition of distractions. One of the most common of these is the large screen TV. However, some dentists do leave this running on a news channel which, let’s be honest, isn’t always the most uplifting of experiences. Another popular station is the children’s channel. This makes sense as it distracts children from panicking and screaming or crying in the waiting room and perhaps it also offers a sense of comfort to those of us who are nervous as it doesn’t tax our brain and can be quite soothing too.

Out goes the back issues of home and garden and country squire, not probably the reading material of choice of a lot of patients. A good selection of magazines helps to tick off those extra few minutes but only if they hold your interest.

Other additions to waiting rooms that help people to relax are fish tanks. It is a well known fact that watching fish is both relaxing and therapeutic and it is all too easy to lose yourself in them for some time. Background music also is often played although as we are subjected to this everywhere we go, this is not always appreciated by everyone.

Just these few simple factors can make a great difference to a patient who is subject to nerves before their dental visit and put them in a more relaxed frame of mind when they sit in the chair. Of course, it is then important that the dentist themselves then maintain a calm air and talk in a friendly and relaxed manner. An abrupt manner can easily undo all the work that has been out into the decoration of the waiting room.