Redbook Magazine’s Sascha Zuger, in a feature on WebMD, wrote, “With today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it’s hard to squeeze in appointments during the week.”
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Moreover, studies show that only an average of 50 percent of the total population actually visit the dentist.
This is both saddening and downright risky considering that one’s dental health is an integral part of assessing the state of one’s overall health.
Early detection of dental problems will prevent further serious complications that can spread to other vital organs of the body.
Whether your dental visit procrastination is ignited by fear or apprehension of the unknown, it is reassuring to know that most dental clinics nowadays are equipped with cutting-edge tools and other amenities that promise to alleviate the source of one’s fear.
Here are things you can do to prepare for your dentist appointment:
Get a good night’s sleep.
Giving the brain ample time to rest will soothe the nerves and dispel anxiety. Not only will it invigorate the body and set the person in a good mood, but lack of sleep can impact a person’s cognitive ability in terms of problem-solving, creativity, and judgment.
Choose a dentist that you can trust.
Dentists should be proficient in managing a patient’s anxiety and should have good communication skills. A practitioner who maintains an open line of communication can bolster patient confidence and will eventually breed a long-term doctor-patient relationship.
Avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages on the day of the appointment.
The tendency of sugar and caffeine to perk up one’s energy level can likewise increase one’s anxiety.
Verify your availability before the appointment.
Confirm your schedule at least 24 hours in advance. This way, you can cancel within an appropriate timeframe.
Initiate a dental record transfer.
If you’re planning to change your dentist, contact your previous dental office and ask for assistance in transferring your records to your new chosen profession.
Organize your information.
Be ready to disclose your form of payment, provide your comprehensive medical history, and itemize your current medications and supplements. Take along with you a list of oral health concerns that you want to discuss with your dentist.
Confide your dental anxiety.
Whatever you do, avoid self-medication prior to the visit. Pain-relief drugs, like caffeinated drinks, will destabilize the chemicals of the brain, adversely affecting the level of anxiety in a person. So, come clean and don’t be afraid to confide your fears to your dentist.
Practice good hygiene.
Don’t just focus on brushing and flossing before the appointment. Wear appropriate clothes and maintain proper grooming as it will reflect your character. Remember that a dentist is a health professional. They don’t like a dirty mouth and a spoiled personality.
Avoid rushing, and give yourself time to feel comfortable and relaxed with the dental office environment. Take time to know the staff and complete forms.
Be truthful with your answers.
When a dentist asks you about your oral hygiene regimens and past and current dental issues, be straightforward and thorough. As your partner in oral health, your dentist needs to have a transparent and comprehensive perspective of your dental health status, so the right treatment plan can be recommended to you.
Your dentist may perform a comprehensive examination to check for signs of diseases and other potential problems. Expect the following evaluation:
- Complete screening of the head and neck
- Examination of the periodontal area and its supporting structures
- A soft and hard tissue evaluation and detailed documentation
- Clinical examination of the teeth
- A bite or occlusion assessment
As much as your dentist needs your full cooperation, you also need his in-depth professional advice. It doesn’t matter if your dental visit is a dental treatment like cleaning or polishing, routine checkup, or for a more sophisticated procedure, the key to a successful dental visit is preparedness.