Personally I do not believe in the existence of phobic patients. But I believe in the existence of abused patients. Either as children or as adults. From the beginning of my career I was fascinated to talk thourougly to my patients. Thus I quickly realized that all the phobic ones had to tell me a story of psychic trauma on the dental chair. Others had experienced it recently while others in their distant past.
So what do we do?
Patient: We speak of our fears to the secretary. If we deem it appropriate, we request an appointment on a relatively quiet day at the clinic, and without much stress for ourselves. We arrive 10 minutes earlier to observe the space, the people and to acclimatize ourselves.
Dentist: After the initial discussion, I take a little more time to analyze the treatment plan and answer all the patient’s questions. Possibly start the treatment plan with something very simple. At every step, my main concern is communication and making the patient feel good. If the patient does not feel comfortable, I stop working and schedule another appointment. Appointments are meant to be short and pleasant.
Eventually, even these patients become satisfied, and the previous negative experiences are overcome.