Going to the dentist isn’t always as straightforward or as comfortable for someone as it might be for another patient. For some people, it could be the appointment they constantly dread. According to WebMD, up to 20% of people asked in an American study admitted to not going to the dentist because they suffer from dental phobia.
In turn, this causes more issues in the long run, because tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems will lie unnoticed for months, if not years; turning into an issue that is no longer rectifiable without extreme measures, such as tooth extraction. This is why it’s important to change the way you think about your dental appointments. In this article, we’ll detail 8 ways in which you can feel more comfortable at the dentist.
1. Find a dental practice that is right for you
Not every dental practice is the same. They each have different employees, different facilities and different ways of dealing with patients. Here at Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic, we have a team of highly-qualified, fully-trained dentists who know and understand the importance of making our patients feel safe and comfortable whilst in our care. If you find a dental clinic that suits your needs, then continue to have your dental treatment there.
If, however, you are currently attending a dental practice that you don’t feel comfortable with, do your utmost to move practices. You’ll be able to ring around and ask if you can come and have a look around. Not only will this enable you to see their premises, but it will also help you to gauge the atmosphere and their overall demeanour, giving you more of a solid foundation on which to make your decision.
2. Be open-minded
Dental treatment has come a long way in recent years, resulting in procedures being, almost, pain-free, for the exception of the administration of anaesthetic. This means that, whether it’s a simple check-up or a more complex treatment, you’ll never have a painful or unpleasant experience, especially if you choose Quorn Dental Practice and Implant Clinic. You should be more open-minded about what it all involves and that it won’t be an uncomfortable or painful experience, no matter the treatment or procedure you’re undergoing.
3. Do something that will help to keep your mind off it
Some people will read a magazine or a book, either before or during their appointment. Others might listen to their favourite music or an interesting podcast throughout their time in the dentist chair; anything to keep their minds off their treatment. Not only does this give you something to do so you don’t get bored, but it also acts as a positive reinforcement method. You know that everytime you go to the dentist, you’ll get to listen to your favourite songs or you’ll get to find out what happens in that interesting book you’re reading. Attach something positive to the experience and you’ll soon find yourself feeling more comfortable at the dentist.
4. Establish a two-way communication with your dentist
This is something that is important if you’re feeling apprehensive about your treatment, whether it’s a check-up or something more involved. Your dentist will be able to talk you through the appointment, from start to finish, giving you a brief run-down of what you can expect moving forward. This is also something they can do before each step of your treatment.
When they’re being open with you about the treatment they’re administering, you should be honest with them about your feelings towards receiving dental treatment. They are fully-trained to deal with nervous or uncomfortable patients, so you should never be too apprehensive about sharing your thoughts with your dentist.
5. Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol can cause your heart rate to increase, naturally. If you’re already nervous about your dental treatment, then the worst thing you can do is consume caffeine, alcohol or other drinks that are only going to add to your nervousness. Not to mention, alcohol can have an adverse effect on patients, depending on what it is you’re having done at the dentist. In severe cases, your dentist can even refuse treatment if they believe you’re intoxicated in any way, for your own safety. The best thing to do is to avoid the aforementioned things altogether.
6. Practise relaxation techniques
Different breathing techniques are common ways for people to practise relaxation whilst in the dentist chair. Where there are other methods for relaxing naturally during high-stress situations, breathing techniques are the easiest thing to perform whilst trying to remain as still as possible whilst your procedure gets underway. Going back to some distraction tactics, listening to soothing music or noises can also help you to feel more relaxed. Some people might opt for whale noises, others may prefer white noise, whereas other people might choose classic tunes; what you listen to is entirely your decision.
7. Bring someone for support
One of the best ways to feel more comfortable at the dentist is to bring someone along with you for some moral support. Not only will they be with you in the waiting room, but they’ll also be allowed into the treatment room with you. Knowing that someone is there with you can make a whole world of difference and improve one’s mood. It’s also appealing knowing that someone will be there for you at the end of your treatment. Whether you’re a nervous patient in general, who despises going for six-monthly check-ups, or whether you dread having a filling done, you’d be surprised by how effective it can be to bring someone along with you to your appointment, no matter the reasons for your dental visit.
8. Give yourself a reward after the appointment
Giving yourself a reward after your appointment is another method of positive reinforcement. It means that you’ll associate something good with an experience that you often find stressful. This way, you know that you’ll always have something to look forward to, giving you the strength to get through a dental appointment that you normally find uncomfortable. Whether it’s a simple coffee from your local coffee shop or a new pair of shoes that you wanted, reward yourself after your appointment to help ease your feelings of apprehension.
Whether you’re looking for cosmetic dental treatments, periodontal treatment or even a general checkup, you’ll be able to rely on the experts here at Quorn Dental Practice and implant Clinic. We have a team of highly-qualified, specialist dentists with a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw upon. If you would like further information about the dental treatments we have on offer, then get in touch with a member of our professional team today – we’re always pleased to hear from you.