Keep Calm and Smile On
You love your patients, and your team is terrific, but let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The COVID-19 pandemic is not going anytime soon. This can mean mounting stress and anxiety for dental practices.
But guess what? You’re not alone.
According to Dentistry Online, 3 in 5 dentists feel this way. So, what can you do about it? Since business as usual isn’t an option, CHANGE is the best way to get there. The goal is to make everyone smile, so here are ways to take action to reassure your staff and patients that your practice is safe:
- Combine services for more confidence. We’ve mentioned this in a previous blog post, but we’re repeating ourselves because it really can help! Combining treatments to create a complete smile makeover will mean fewer visits for your patients and a better self-image. Since confidence and self-care are huge in eliminating stress, adding GLO Science Chairside teeth whitening to an appointment will result in smile after GLOing smile for your patients and your practice. When you create excitement about these mood-boosting services, it builds trust with your patients.
- Take the necessary precautions. Turn up the clean, and do it in a clearly visible way! When you follow the ADA’s recommendations for safety, you’re putting everyone at ease. For example, have patients use a hydrogen peroxide formulation like ECO Balance with 1.4% Hydrogen Peroxide immediately before treatment, which may help reduce microorganisms released in aerosols/splatter. ECO Balance is also 8x more effective at reducing gingival bleeding than brushing and flossing alone. This will provide a significantly better patient experience than a standard Hydrogen Peroxide solution.
- Let them know you’re listening. Everyone is uneasy right now, but take the time to LISTEN to concerns. Discuss available alternatives to what is concerning them, whether it’s reworking the schedule or offering teledentistry. Find a solution to get everyone to their happy place. Include explanations of increased infection control protocols in the office and support your patients through digital communication via email, social media, or text message alerts. Be patient with everyone and keep the conversation flowing.
- Manage expectations. Setting high-performance goals within your practice is excellent, but if expectations are set too high or are perceived as unattainable, then stress levels rise. Striving for perfection can result in the exact opposite. Take a step back. Work on physiological and physical calming for yourself, your team, and your patients. Breath in, breath out. Play music. Maybe even treat your team to some extra perks like GLO VIALS!
- Keep everyone cool. You know when you’ve been in the sun too long, and you get cranky? Well, heat stress is a real thing, and we need to avoid it. Wearing PPE all day requires taking regular breaks, staying hydrated, and making sure team members are aware of the signs of overheating. Everyone is focused on work, but self-care is so essential for the safety of your team and your patients. Make it clear to your team that you care about how they’re feeling and that they can request an extra break if needed.
- Be flexible. Rules are necessary to run an effective and safe practice, but it can be stressful if there’s little flexibility. There’s a level a trust that needs to exist between the dentist and his/her team. Delegate responsibilities accordingly offer schedule changes if needed, and again...LISTEN! This goes for working with patients as well. If a patient has concerns and wants to cancel, think about how you can accommodate to ease their concerns to avoid cancellations. Life is changing so quickly from day to day, let everyone you encounter know that you’re prepared to roll with the punches.
Final thoughts: A positive mindset and cooperation from the team are crucial to public health and safety. The dentist’s office should not be a scary place. Reinforcing trust, creating a support system, and communicating right now are all key to easing fears and creating a sense of safety and security. You’re in the smile business, and even though they may be hiding behind a mask right now, those smiles are what makes the world a better place.