Going to the dentist often is an inherent part of taking good care of your oral health. Those visits can be minor, with only dental cleaning needed, but can also lead to serious procedures, especially if there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. When you’re in the hands of a good dentist, those procedures aren’t just done in the most detailed and successful way possible. The dental staff also takes pride in making their patients feel comfortable and at ease, despite the anxiety.
Truth be told, many patients may fear visiting a dentist. So, if you experience that as well, you’re not alone. It’s normal to be on the lookout for different effective ways to calm yourself in preparation for a dental appointment. That way, you won’t have to be so fearful of the dental procedure you’re going through.
That being said, here you’ll come across ten of those strategies.
Have All Your Dental And Medical Records Ready
If you’re moving to another dentist for the procedure, such as a specialist, prepare all your dental records. If your dentist is the one doing the procedure you need and there’s no need to move to another dentist, your medical records are what you need to have.
Those records are necessary – they will let your dentist know the background of your overall health. Perhaps there could be some medications you’re currently taking that are not safe to take together with a certain medicine your dentist may prescribe. Safety is a vital component of a successful dental procedure, so there should be no compromise on this matter.
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Having as much background information as you can about your dental procedure is another important thing you need to do. The more you know, the better. That way, you can also actively avoid any possible risks or side effects of the dental procedure. When you know what to expect, you also don’t have to feel too fearful of what the dentist will be doing.
When you have that proper sit-down talk with your dentist, lay all your questions on the table. Don’t rush those meetings. Whatever concerns you have, talk about it. The more patient your dentist is in answering those concerns, the higher the comfort you have that you’re in good hands.
Discuss Your Fears With Your Dentist
During that conversation in the second point above, make it a point also to discuss more of your fears. When you’re that transparent, the dentist can also give you the assurance you need. Many of the fears you may have could be drawn simply because you don’t know what to expect. You also might have received the wrong information elsewhere.
There’s no better professional to debunk those fears than your dentist. You have to trust in their expertise and capabilities. Take their word for it, that the dentist has spent years of study to complete what they now know how to do.
Take All The Prescribed Medications
Some patients have pre-existing conditions that render their immune systems weak. If you’re one of them, you may be prescribed medications by your dentist in the weeks leading to your procedure. Antibiotics, for instance, can be given before, on the course, and after your dental procedure.
If you’re asked to take any medicine before a certain dental procedure, be sure to follow it thoroughly. Take your dentist’s word for it – it’s for your own good. Those antibiotics can help protect your body from any risk of infection that may possibly arise.
Book A Ride Home
You never know how long the effects of the oral anesthesia given to you during the procedure may last. Especially for patients who suffer from extreme dental anxiety, it’s normal to be sedated during dental treatment. Nitrous oxide, or any anesthetic, may impair your judgment and senses temporarily, making it unsafe for you to drive yourself home.
This is the reason why it’s a prudent move to make sure you have a ride home. If you live alone but you have friends or family nearby willing to take you home, there’s no harm in giving them a call a few days prior.
If nobody you know can do it, then at the very least take a cab or any other form of public transportation in your area.
Plan The Schedule Wisely
When your dentist informs you that you need to undergo a specific dental procedure, check your schedule as soon as possible. If you work on weekdays, at the very least book the procedure on a Friday or Saturday morning. This gives you the weekend to relax, in case of any discomfort, without missing too many days at work.
Aside from work, consider all other obligations you need to do as well. Especially if you’re a parent, there are surely other obligations you have to meet: kids’ activities, school activities, and whatnot. Planning your schedule wisely is important, so you can make all the necessary arrangements, just in case you need to rest.
As you plan your schedule, you may want to call family beforehand, as well. Just in case you feel ill after the procedure, it’s good to have arrangements made with your relatives to have the kids sleep over for a few days, while you rest and recover. You never know how you’re going to feel after your procedure, especially those that entail oral surgery. Making possible sleepover arrangements beforehand ensures certainty that you’ve got family too, who have time to spare, to care for the kids.
Avoid Eating, If Necessary
If the dentist tells you to avoid certain foods and liquids at certain hours of the day, follow the same advice as well. Fasting is often required, especially if you’re going to be given anesthesia. Usually, you’ll be asked not to eat or drink anything on the night before your surgery. It’s a must to follow your doctor’s orders. This is required to prevent the risk of aspiration, or a serious condition that occurs when your stomach’s contents enter your lungs.
Depending on the type of procedure you may be getting, you could also be advised to take in a soft diet only after your procedure. Make this a part of your preparation process.
On the week leading to your dental procedure, stock up on soups, oatmeal, porridge, ice cream, and yogurt, among others. Make those a part of your grocery list. That way, those are all ready for when your procedure day comes. It saves you the hassle of going to the grocery store or ordering in when all you want to do is rest.
Prepare Insurance Information
If you have health insurance coverage which includes dental treatments, be sure to prepare all those as well. Inform your insurance provider about your upcoming dental procedure, just so they’re aware of your claims.
For those who don’t have insurance coverage, then prepare the needed payment, too. Like any medical treatment, dental procedures can be quite expensive. So, be ready to cover that expense.
Have The Household Chores Taken Cared Of
To help you heal faster and better, your dentist may recommend you to take it easy at home. Rest when you can. Also, you may need to avoid any strenuous or laborious work. If you’re in charge of the daily household chores, this also means you may have to arrange for help, even if it’s just for that week.
Call a cleaner to visit your home, if you must. Arrange this ahead of time, so they can come over and take care of your chores during the week, however often you need them. The extra amount you pay for the cleaner is worth it when it’s your health and safety that’s at stake. It may only be a small dental operation. But, if the dentist says you have to rest, then take their word for it.
Another solution you can also opt to do is to deep clean your house on the days before your surgery. Use as much of your pre-surgery energy to do as any chores as you can, so don’t have to be bothered to do any deep cleaning after.
On the days leading to your dental procedure, you also have to sleep well. Avoid staying up late for the time being. If there are invites to get-togethers or parties, it might be best not to go. This tip is definitely non-negotiable on the night before the dental procedure
Giving your brain enough time to rest can help calm your nerves and dispel anxiety. When you lack sleep, your cognitive ability is severely affected. You can be in a good mood for your surgery when sleep has affected your body positively, giving you time to stay refreshed and well-invigorated.
No matter how diligent you are with your oral care at home, there really is no substitute for the expert touch only dentists can do. Depending on the state of your oral health’s overall situation, dental procedures may be necessary. This can cause anxiety, fear, and stress in some patients – you included. If you suffer from the same, consider yourself lucky to have gone through the tips above. When you can ease your worries and calm your fears, going to the dentist no longer has to be something you’ll be worried about.
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