Mindful Dentist

Carmelina D'Arro

Abstract


Dental anxiety challenges patients and providers alike, creating barriers to care, increasing pain perception, and increasing the time and effort required to complete treatment. While patient-centered dentistry invites us to care for the person attached to the teeth, many dentists feel ill-equipped to handle the many emotions that arise during dental treatment. Mindfulness and the practices that cultivate it are invaluable to the provision of patient-centered care in four respects: 1) it provides balance to the dental professional during stressful times, 2) it cultivates the qualities of a patient-centered health care provider 3) it guides actions necessary to meet a patient’s needs, 4) it provides techniques that patients can themselves use to find balance during stressful times. All of these fruits of mindfulness practices are demonstrated in three true vignettes of fearful patients who were treated by the author. Video footage of the three stories is also provided.


Keywords


Dentists, Mindfulness, Patient-centered care, Dental anxiety, Pain perception.

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26443/ijwpc.v5i2.182

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