Many patients are anxious about coming to a periodontist’s office. My team and I purposefully provide a personal touch to help patients feel relaxed and comfortable when they come into the office for a visit. I find that a personal touch can sometimes best be accomplished with a little bit of touching. In our culture we shake hands or perhaps give people a hug.
Historically, shaking hands shows you do not have a weapon in your hand, and in modern times it serves to start breaking down barriers through this simple physical contact. When I am with patients I want to build trust. I offer to shake hands and I encourage them to call me by my first name. I try to break down the barriers that otherwise prevent them from being comfortable.
I also like to use humor with patients. This approach works most of the time, but some people do not think that the dental office is an appropriate place for humor. They are very serious when they get here, and they are very anxious, so there is a risk that my humor may backfire—but I find that a touch of humor goes a long way to help relax people.
Another consideration is that the doctor and all the staff must appear to be confident and know what they are doing. Patients notice this demeanor and they feel that they are in good hands.
Observing a well-run periodontal practice is much like watching a well-choreographed dance. Our office routines are smooth; all members of the team move in harmony achieved by years of working together. Patients get comfortable with the competence of our staff and systems. They know they are safe and being treated by true professionals when they come to our office.
Dr. Karl A. Rose
Periodontal & Implant Associates of Greater Washington
Chevy Chase, MD
New Patients Welcome