If you are a dentist or work in a dental office, you know that some of your patients are afraid of you.
In fact, studies show that some 20 percent of Americans are so anxious about coming to see you that they only make an appointment when necessary. And five to eight percent fear you so much that they avoid you altogether.
This fear and anxiety – known as ‘dental phobia’ – not only puts these Americans at risk of poor dental healthcare, but can also raise their risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes due to the spread of inflammation caused by conditions such as gingivitis.
There are several reasons patients fear coming to the dentist:
Scientific studies have shown that the sense of smell is connected to the memory center of the brain (the limbic system), which can recognize thousands of scents, recalling both good and bad memories associated with them.
That’s good if the smell of natural gas is warning you of a dangerous leak, or if the stench of spoiled meat prevents you from eating it.
But for some people, the harmless smells associated with good dental health are associated with fear, anxiety and stress – leading them to avoid the dentist.
The three primary culprits that combine to cause ‘dental office scent’ are:
Interestingly enough, one study found that “clove oil invokes sensations of anxiety and fear in people who dislike the dentist while people who don’t mind the dentist think that clove oil smells ‘pleasant.’”
Many dentists are taking a page from other healthcare providers who are successfully using scent for business as a way to combat this fear and anxiety.
You’ve seen how ‘dental office scent’ can work against you. Why not make scent work for you?
Research shows that people are less likely to remember sights and sounds than smells, and that even after one year, most remember a smell along with details of the event.
What if patients walked into your practice and instead of smelling the familiar dental smell, experienced a scent that brought fond memories back?
You can do this through a new state-of-the-art scent distribution system that enables fragrances to be dispersed evenly and over large spaces. These cold-infusion scent distribution systems atomize essential oils, convert them into molecules and disperse them throughout the environment.
Thousands of scents and scent combinations are available through essential oils – scents that are scientifically proven to connect with the brain’s memory center and recall good memories.
Imagine fearful patients walking into your office and breathing in the calming scents of lavender and orange – or the relaxing scent of vanilla. It could make all the difference in their anxiety levels and help them to connect with pleasant memories that keep them calm both before and during the appointment.
Plus, scent is inexpensive and easy to install in your dental practice.
Fearful patients can make your job unpleasant at best, and difficult at worst. But scent can give you an extra edge, helping keep your patients calm and making your job as their doctor more pleasant as well.
If you’d like to reduce anxiety, stress and fear in your dental patients, in just a matter of days we can deliver:
Or call 800.492.9030 and let’s talk.
Sources; WebMD, dentaliq.com