The best way to get quality dental care is to communicate with your dentist. Unfortunately, this can be difficult when your dentist has his hands in your mouth. Additionally, communicating how you’re feeling or what you suspect might be wrong can be difficult because you aren’t a dentist. But just because you aren’t a dentist doesn’t mean there isn’t something that needs attention.
At Fox Valley Dental we’ve found that many patient miscommunications can be avoided through the use of visual aids and technology like the intraoral camera.
Visual aids help to open doors to communication and conversation between the patient and dentist. And whether you’re young and can’t describe how you feel, older and simply unable to share what you’re thinking, or at a loss for words, visual aids help people to formulate ideas. Once a person has an idea in their head they tend to have an easier time expanding on it.
One of the most useful visual aids we provide patients with is a simple smiley face chart. It allows people to rate their pain on a scale of 1-10. Each smiley face has an expression the coincides with the pain a person feels. Once the dentist is given an idea of how a person is scoring their pain, he can then begin to formulate theories on the best way to treat it.
Another useful visual aid is a whiteboard. It allows patients to write out their thoughts and also draw anything that they might be having a hard time describing. We find children particularly appreciate the whiteboard because it allows them to get creative and express themselves.
Sometimes it’s hard for patients to understand where their dentist is coming from. It’s always helpful when advanced technology can help paint a picture of what a dentist is seeing and then display it to a patient so that they can also see it.
That’s why we love the intraoral camera. This tiny camera allows us to show on a screen the inside of your mouth. We can show you cavities, malformations, really anything we can see that strikes a chord with us. As we show what we’re seeing you’re able to get a better idea of why we might be recommending certain treatments or interventions.
The intraoral camera can also help to reduce patient anxiety. Most anxiety stems from an inability to control a situation. When a patient is given a small window into what is happening, they suddenly feel more at ease because they feel as if they have a better grip on the situation.
We take pride in serving our patients and communicating in a transparent, honest fashion. Give us a call to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we take patient communication seriously.