Advanced Dentistry Institute

How to alleviate patient anxiety when extracting a tooth

As a dental healthcare provider, one of your primary goals should be to ensure that your patients feel as comfortable as possible during their visits. This can be especially important when it comes to tooth extractions, as the mere idea of having a tooth removed can make many people feel significantly anxious.

In this article, we’ll outline some practical steps you can take to help reduce patient anxiety when extracting a tooth. 

Communicate effectively 

Most everyday people don’t fully understand what’s happening during a dental procedure, let alone the dental jargon we use in the industry.

It’s important to take the time to explain the extraction process to your patient in a way that they can understand. Use simple, everyday language. This will help to alleviate your patient’s anxiety by giving them a better understanding of what to expect. Be sure to address any questions or concerns that they may have before you start the procedure. 

Offer sedation options 

It goes without saying that you’ll be using a numbing agent to the area to make the extraction process as pain-free as possible for your patients. However, if your patient is extremely anxious about the extraction, you may want to consider offering sedation options such as nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) or oral conscious sedation. These methods can help to relax your patient and make the extraction process more comfortable for them.

Create a calming environment 

The physical environment in which dental procedures such as extractions take place also plays a major role in your patient’s anxiety levels. Make sure that your surgical room is warm and welcoming, and consider using calming scents or music to create a more relaxing atmosphere.

Utilise distraction techniques 

Another way to effectively alleviate anxiety before an extraction is to help your patient to focus on something other than the dental procedure. You might want to give your patient a stress ball or another small object to hold onto during the procedure. Even a calming voice can be helpful so that your patient can focus on listening to you rather than thinking about what’s going on inside their mouth. 

Make the procedure as comfortable as possible 

Firstly – make sure your patient is positioned correctly in the chair. Not only will this make it easier for you to perform the extraction, but it will also ensure that your patient is comfortable throughout the procedure as well. Secondly, it’s critical that you use the correct techniques and tools while extracting the tooth. This will ensure that the extraction is performed efficiently and minimize discomfort for your patient. Finally, make sure you give your patient clear aftercare instructions on how to care for the extraction site and foods and drinks to avoid while healing.  

Follow up after the extraction 

Want more patients returning to your practice over your competitors? Follow up with your patients, especially anxious patients who have just had an extraction. This is a simple yet powerful way to show your patients that you genuinely care about them and want to ensure that they’re recovering well. By helping your anxious patients to feel more supported, their anxiety about going to the dentist could lessen over time. 

Wrapping it up 

Overall, extracting a tooth can be a daunting experience for many patients. By taking the time to communicate effectively, using numbing agents and sedation options, creating a comfortable environment, using distraction techniques, and following up after the extraction, you can help to alleviate patient anxiety and ensure that your patients feel as comfortable as possible during their visit.

By following these steps and using the techniques described above, you can help to alleviate patient anxiety when extracting a tooth and ensure that your patients have a positive experience during their visit. You might even end up with a loyal patient for life. 

Learn how to perform surgical extractions with ADI

If you’re interested in taking your skills to the next level in surgical extractions, you can learn how to improve your extraction technique with Advanced Dentistry Institute. Our Surgical Extraction course provides one on one Specialist Oral Surgeon mentoring for each student (no sharing of mentors). To find out more about this comprehensive program, click here.