How To Create a Stress-Free Dental Office?

Last Updated on August 10th, 2022

Dentistry is often regarded as one of the most stressful professions. Both patients and professionals go through different emotional turmoil at different points in time. Over 60% of dental patients experience low to moderate anxiety levels before and during the treatment and more than half the dentists have reported experiencing high job stress. There is no chance of eradicating stress per-se because the profession is very demanding and the treatments are definitely anxiety-inducing. However, you can always make an attempt to reduce the stress in your dental office. 

There are several ways by which this can be done. Here we shall talk about 7 major ways of reducing stress in dental offices. 

 

A] Hold regular meetings with your staff

With a well-informed staff by your side, you will significantly lower stress in the workplace. Try and make everyday meetings with staff a mandatory part of your daily schedule. Begin your day by catching up with the staff on the work process, and the patient in-flow, and discuss the specifics that you find important. You could talk about goals for the week, problems that have been bought up, recommendations to increase productivity and so on. 

A satisfied and non-stressed staff can bring about an exceptional difference in your dental office as they will always be motivated and happy to work. Equip your staff with management skills and make them feel involved in the office by keeping them in the loop when making decisions. With an already jam-packed schedule, meetings might just feel like another factor causing stress; but it is not. 

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B] Reduce patient stress

The idea of sitting in one place with your mouth wide open and having tools operating in a personal area i.e., the mouth can cause intense feelings of anxiety. Some people are so phobic that they start experiencing anxiety even before the treatment begins. A stressed patient is way more difficult to tackle than a relaxed one. When dealing with stressed patients, you have to put in your best effort to answer all their questions and give them a patient ear. They can also complicate the treatment procedure by not cooperating. It is very likely that dealing with stressed patients will put you under tremendous stress as well. It can be mentally and emotionally taxing, which is why it is very important that you reduce your patient’s stress. 

Keep an observant eye for cues when the patient enters your dental office and have your office designed in a way that offers relaxation and calmness. The latter can be done in several ways- you can add light music so treatment sounds aren’t heard, you can add elements of nature in the office which will generate calmness, clear up the cramped areas and so on. Patient stress can also be minimized by having a good staff; so, the two are somewhat interdependent. 

 

C] Automate your operations with the use of automation payment tools

Automate wherever possible. It has been found that maintaining cash flow records can be quite difficult. Sometimes patients pay through their insurance, some pay right away and so on. Maintaining a detailed financial report is crucial to minimize stress and running the dental office smoothly. Manual data can have errors, which is why you need to automate your dental billing operations. Make use of automated dental payment softwares that ensures you don’t miss on invoices, collect payments rapidly, reduce manual work, prevent fraud and streamline the entire process by having comprehensive data all on one platform. 

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In Addition to payments, you can also make maximum use of your office technology for different functions. 

 

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medical assistants

D] Manage your own stress efficiently

A stressed professional cannot maintain a stress-free office, therefore, last but not the least, ensure you remain at the top of your mental health so you are competent enough to deal with everything that needs your attention.  This can be done by 2 simple things- 

  • Learn to say no

Even though learning to say No is popularly referred to as being assertive, it is a general life skill. It is very much applicable in your dental office too. Prioritize the tasks you wish to pursue and can’t miss out on and deny the ones that cause exhaustion of emotional and cognitive resources. You cannot have everything no matter how hard you try; therefore, set your priorities straight and do not strain yourself. 

  • Adopting healthy habits and looking out for red flags 

Incorporate exercise in your schedule no matter how occupied you get. Consume a healthy diet and overall, take care of your well-being. Look out for red flags like loss of interest, sleeplessness, withdrawal from social contact, addictions and so on.  Avoid falling prey to unhealthy habits which is a common reaction to stress and seek help when you notice these.

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Creating a stress-free dental office is no easy task. All the above-mentioned factors come into play and work collectively to determine the office environment. As stated at the beginning of the article, stress cannot be eradicated, it is pretty much inevitable; but it can definitely be dealt with cleverly, thereby ensuring a healthy and exceptional workplace that only flourishes!

 

Dr. Amanda
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