We are Patients Too: Dentist Dread

Posted on Aug 20, 2018 by Maddie Crowley

Dental fear can keep patients awayMy name is Maddie Crowley and I have worked at Solutionreach for nearly five years. Being the youngest of 5, I gained a lot of my early opinions from watching my older siblings. My older brothers cannon-ball into the pool... I could do that. My sister hates broccoli... must be poisoned. One opinion that was locked in at a very young age… was Dentist Dread!

It was probably my oldest brother who shared some sort of horror story involving sharp tools, bright lights in your eyes, and someone looking around my mouth! From then on, the rest of us knew the meaning of Dentist Dread! That fear was ingrained in us and SUCH a hard opinion for my parents to break.

Fast forward to me living on my own, having my own insurance, and rocking at being an adult! But wait… insurance means I need to use it right? I have to get what I’m paying for… which meant going to the dentist! Naturally I’m asking my family and coworkers where they go, what they like about it, what they dislike, etc. I wanted to make the best choice to avoid childhood fears creeping up.

Appointment is scheduled! I did it! Adulting so good! But as that appointment got closer, as my phone buzzed with a reminder, I felt it coming… the Dentist Dread! I was back to being 6 years old, eyeing the terrifying instruments, worried I wouldn’t have any teeth when I got out of that chair! I was back to being a freshman getting braces tightened and my heart sinking when the doctor forgot to put on gloves as they adjusted wires in my mouth!Fear of dentists is a common problem

The day came. I can do this. Adulting, remember? Adults keep their appointments and don’t ask their mom to come with them...right? I get to the office, was greeted by smiling faces, and waited for them to call my name. My name is called and I’m taken to a chair where I await my fate! Why did I do this? Why am I here? I bet I could just sneak out.

Then to my surprise… the appointment was over! Everything went so smoothly I barely noticed the time past. The hygienists and doctor were so nice and happy and genuinely cared about my comfort. They asked questions about me and really wanted to know about me. I said my goodbyes, scheduled my next cleaning, and was handed a water as I left the office. I sat in my car skeptically counting my teeth to make sure everything was accounted for just in case.

That evening I was cleaning up dinner and unwinding from the day, honestly not giving my appointment a second thought. When all of the sudden I got a call… from my DENTIST! The conversation started with something like, “Hey I just wanted to check in, see how you were feeling and make sure you’re feeling okay.” And I proceeded to have a nice 1-2 minute chat with my new dentist.

Compassion makes dental visits easierThat call...combined with the overall great experience at my appointment earlier, kicked Dentist Dread to the curb! I was put at ease and felt completely taken care of as a patient! I found myself sharing my experience, referring friends and family to this dental office, and referring patients there like a mad woman! But it meant a lot and completely changed my perception of going to the dentist.  

Years and years have passed since that experience. And you better believe I still go to the same dentist, I still am their number one in patient referrals, and they have me as a patient for life! Goodbye Dentist Dread!

Want to read more about creating an amazing patient experience? Check out "7 Researched-Backed Steps to a Patient-Friendly Practice." Check It Out

 

Maddie Crowley

Maddie Crowley

I have been at Solutionreach almost 5 years. I started in Client Success, then to Quality Assurance, and I've been in Learning and Development for over a year and a half. I got married December of 2017 and am rocking the newlywed life! I'm a fan of ping pong, Star Wars Legos, and grilled cheese sandwiches... probably in that order. I love helping others and seeing my peers or customers succeed!

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