3 Reasons Patients Avoid the Dentist—And How Your Practice Can Overcome Them

February 3, 2020by Lisa Philip
Dentist and patient looking at a digital dental x-ray.

Valentine’s Day might be just around the corner, but few people “love” going to the dentist. At best, patients come in for routine exams because they recognize the importance of oral health. Unfortunately, there are people who avoid the dentist altogether, until they have serious pain or an advanced condition. Luckily, practices can work to overcome the reasons many people avoid the dentist.

Reason #1: “I’m too busy to go to the dentist.”

No one wants to work all of the time, but dentists appeal to more patients when they have flexible hours. Even being open late one night a week or one Saturday a month can make a difference for busy patients.

Current patients may put off seeing you, not realize how long it’s been since their last appointment. A combination of text messages, phone calls, emails, and postcards keep visiting the dentist at top of mind.

Reason #2: “I’m afraid of the dentist.”

Fear of the dentist is a blanket statement with many causes. An adult may have had a bad experience as a child. Some people can’t stand the sight or sound of dental tools. What’s a dentist to do? Start by hosting an open house, where potential patients can tour the office without the stress of an appointment.

Your work is not done once you get new patients in the door. On your new patient forms, include questions that gauge their nervousness and anxiety. This information will alert staff to treat these patients with a little TLC. Simple measures, like offering headphones or keeping dental tools covered when possible, can make a big difference for a fearful patient.

Reason #3: “My teeth are healthy.”

Many people undervalue the importance of regular dental exams. Explaining that many conditions are not painful at first, including oral cancer, can convince some patients. This is also where photos of neglected teeth can be beneficial.

At Transitions Group North America, we can develop the right marketing approach to get patients in your door. Contact us to learn more about services.

-The TGNA Team

Lisa Philip