Ten percent of all adults are categorized having some type of dental phobia and of all the options out there, dental anxiety is considered to be one of the most common fears. The stress caused by the sights, sounds and smells of a dental office may be too much for some patients to handle. In response, dentists are proactively making the efforts to make the experience more relaxing for patients in order to implement dental care.
According to a survey conducted by the American Dental Association, nearly 25 percent of all Americans avoid the dentist because of dental fear. While some of them may choose to try their own methods of minimizing dental anxiety, a professional dental dentist skilled in the art of reducing dental anxiety is the best line of defense.
Dental Schools Teaching Importance of Communication
Within the medical industry, doctors who tested poorly on patient-physician communication skills were far more likely to generate patient complaints to the authorities in charge (ScienceDaily.com). Those findings are not shocking as it is common knowledge that the right type of communication can bring positive results, while poor connection skills can cause misunderstandings, stress and anxiety. That is why dental schools are taking the time to educate dental professionals on the importance of bedside (in this case chair-side) manner.
At the New York University College of Dentistry, actors are being used to coach third year students on the best ways to interview patients (Wall Street Journal). The process involves actors receiving character information regarding a variety of dental problems and fears. The actors realistically portray patients suffering from dental woes such as dry mouth, fear of needles and other common scenarios. The students must then rely on a combination of their interviewing skills and dental know-how to develop the best course of action to deal with the dental scene being portrayed.
Seinfeld, introduced the concept of medical actors to a majority of America as 'Cosmo Kramer' was a medical actor in an episode entitled, "The Burning." While the concept may seem based out of fiction, it is a real way to train students in both the medical and dental industries. Ultimately, the education will prepare students for dealing in real life scenarios calmly, professionally and kindly.