How Can I Prepare and Be More Comfortable For Dental Visits?

It’s common knowledge that children can be quite anxious, and even downright fearful, when it comes to paying their dentist a visit. Because they are typically brought to the dentist for teeth cleaning, teeth extraction, or addressing cavities, they begin to associate visits to the dentist with experiences of pain, and so they often need plenty of encouragement (and convincing) to sit through the whole session without panicking or making a fuss.

Some children outgrow these fears and misgivings and proceed to regularly see their dentist for checkups and treatments. Other adults, on the other hand, still feel apprehensive and anxious whenever they drive up to the dental clinic or once they settle into the dentist’s chair. There are a number of possible reasons for this discomfort:

  • Some feel that their mouth is a personal space, and are thus reluctant to have someone looking into it and working in there;
  • Some fear potentially painful experiences;
  • Others feel embarrassed about sitting on the chair and feeling helplessness or lack of control over what could happen, and
  • Others find it difficult to get over negative experiences with dental appointments in the past.

So if you’re wondering, “How can I prepare and be more comfortable for dental visits?” it can help to follow these tips:

Find a dentist you feel you can trust to help you with your needs, and an environment that you will be happy and comfortable visiting. Every dentist is different, so it’s best to ensure that you have nothing to fear during dental visits by selecting a professional that you genuinely like. Check out different clinics in your area, talk to the staff, observe the facilities, and talk to the dentists until you find an establishment that you feel comfortable with.

Communicate openly with your dentist. Once you’ve identified the dentist you like the most, make time to talk to him or her extensively about yourself and your dental needs. Share all the relevant dental records and history, ask about the best program that would help you achieve your specific goals, and inform the dentist about your fears and concerns. This way, your dentist and their staff will know your specific fears, the particular activities that you can engage in without anxiety, the instruments or procedures that you need time to get used to, and other details. They can make sure that everything you need is taken care of during your visits.

Get everything ready before the appointment. Being well prepared for each visit can significantly reduce your anxiety over the upcoming experience. Confirm the appointment, have all records and files at hand, have a list of key points to discuss or questions to ask, take care of your dental hygiene, and arrive at the clinic with time to spare. This keeps you from being flustered and caught off guard at a moment when you would already be nervous, so you can come into the clinic more relaxed and confident.

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