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Improve Patient Experience By Treating Both Teeth and Mind

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As Leah Binder wrote in the Huffington Post recently, "improving patient experience requires something more than studying the issue and implementing a few new policies. It requires nothing short of a paradigm shift in the way they think about their role in the patient's life, and the fundamentals of their practice.?

While long-term patients of oncologists may have a drastically different ?patient experience? than someone who stops in at the dentist for a cleaning or even a crown, every dentist can shift their paradigm to positively impact the patient. By focusing on treating the patient, rather than the tooth or teeth, dentists can more effectively improve the much-discussed ?patient experience.?

For example, many individuals are uncomfortable or even fearful when going to the dentist. Allowing patients to watch a movie, listen to their music, or keeping up a steady stream of comforting chatter during the visit can do much to set the patient at ease. Every dental professional wants patients? visits to be as painless as possible?and that desire for painlessness shouldn?t be only physical. Treating the patient?s mind by setting him or her at ease and assuaging fear of the procedures is a big step towards improving patient care and becoming a better dentist.

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