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Do you have Stress at the Dental Office?

Dr. Pugh holding her puppy Hank in 2021.

April is National Stress Awareness Month. It’s no secret that many people find going to the dentist stressful, so we want to talk about our approach to patients who may be feeling stress, fear, or anxiety when they come to our office for the first time.  

People feel stress for a variety of reasons when going to the dentist. Some had bad experiences as children, some just have “white coat anxiety” with doctors, some are embarrassed or afraid of being judged because they haven’t been to the dentist in a while, and the list goes on.   

If someone asked me to identify one thing we do that has contributed to our growth over the years, I might have to say that we create a low-stress environment for our patients. Most of this comes from Dr. Pugh’s genuine empathetic approach, gentle physical touch, gentle demeanor, and experience being married to a husband who had longtime white coat anxiety. She gets it.   

If I put a little more detail into what makes patients comfortable and less stressed at the dentist’s office, I would refer to our Patient Promise. A few years ago, we undertook a large project to, with great intention, listen to our patients. This project helped us identify five things that patients told us far more than anything else. When we got this information, we decided to make these five things our promise to our patients. And, in reality, they’re the reason we do so well with patients who suffer from dental stress. 

  1. Patients know we don’t sell them things they don’t need.   
  1. Patients know we use only high-quality materials and labs. We don’t use watered-down cement or cheap overseas dental labs to make their crowns, so patients know their dental work is going to last. 
  1. We’re gentle. Dr. Pugh by nature has a gentle touch. But, more importantly, she has a gentle demeanor, and as her office has grown, she has brought in dentists and hygienists who have the same gentle demeanor and touch.   
  1. Everyone in our office really cares about our patients, our practice, and each other. It’s a special place here, and our patients can feel it.   
  1. We’re top-notch administrative professionals. We run a tight shop and people can depend on us.   

In this post, I’m referring to dental stress. Stress of all kinds can be brutal, but thankfully there are ways to handle it. We hope you find some of them helpful. 

When we did our most recent staff photo shoot, Dr. Pugh had just gotten a new puppy, Hank.  She brought him in for everyone to see, and we took a couple of pictures of him. What better way to bring a smile to your face than a picture of a puppy?