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The Nervous Patient Scheme

Jan 20, 2008
The nervous patient scheme is a very popular concept with patients. Essentially this involves taking a little extra time with the patient, particularly on the first visit. It may mean not taking the patient into the surgery on the first visit. This is part of the process of desensitisation.

On the second visit the patient is naturally less anxious because they are familiar with the building and they know the dentist is someone who they can talk to. Allay fears and explain how you can help. For example:

Homeopathy: you can choose to follow this protocol which has been found to be effective (or read The Homeopathic Dental Practitioner by Colin Lessel):

One tablet the night before and one the morning before and one hour before treatment using either:

- Argentum nitricum 30c for people who feel restless, hyperactive and anxious.
- Gelsemium 30c for people who feel weak and ill with anxiety.
- Camomile 30c drops for kids.
(Tablets are available from any homeopathic pharmacy, or the patient can order by phone from Ainsworths, 38 New Cavendish Street)

You could also try the Bach flower remedy Rescue Remedy, a few drops straight from the bottle on the tongue as necessary.

Hypnotherapy: Paul Goodhall can dramatically improve a patients perception of a dental visit, especially if the patient has a history of a traumatic dental visit. Often these subconscious fears stem form negative childhood experiences. Excellent treatment is also available for needle phobia and gagging.

Holistic Dentistry: check to see if there are factors in the current medical history that exacerbate anxiety, e.g. diabetes, steroid use. Advise the patient that eating well prior to an appointment will (by elevating the blood sugar) reduce the sensation of anxiety and reduce the risk of fainting. Some patients falsely equate appointments of a medical nature with fasting.

Diazepam 5mg one tablet the night before, one the morning before and one an hour before treatment.

Inhalation and intravenous sedation and general anaesthetic are available on referral.

Note: See inter-practice referrals section ADS 335 for GA/Sedation details.

1.8 Reminders by Text

Through our latest Kodak R4 practice management software we are able to send text message and email appointment reminders to our patients. This cuts down on the cost of administration and making calls. Using this system, particularly text messaging, will reduce the number of patients failing to attend for appointments.

1.9 Appointments at Short Notice and at Convenient Times

A major bugbear of our busy professional patients is not being able to get appointments promptly and at convenient times. By having flexible working hours, and building in reservation slots to our working day, we will be able to accommodate our valued customers.
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