Learn How To Manage your Dental Appointment
Here are some top tips from our experts on how to manage your dental appointment. From building up to it, to during it and after.
Preparing for your dental visit:
- Pick an ideal time of day (if available to you): The first appointment of the day can be ideal if you don’t want to dwell on the thoughts of the appointment all day. If you are not a morning person, either an ‘after lunch’ slot (earlyish for a non-morning person) or late in the evening one can be an ideal choice.
- Clothing: Wear something you feel confident and comfortable in. It may well lift your mood.
- Make a playlist: If you are planning on listening to your own music, make a playlist of calming music, or even a combination of all your favourite songs. Another helpful tip would be to download a podcast or an audio book to keep your mind occupied.
- Distract yourself in the run up: To keep yourself calm why not go walking, watch your favourite movie etc.. do something you love to do.
During your dental visit:
- Stop signal: A very important conversation to have with your dentist before he/she begins is deciding on a ‘stop signal’.
- Taking a break: Agree with your dentist beforehand if you wish to take a break in between treatments. Natural pauses in the flow of procedures can be used as a relaxing tool.
- Explanations: Ask your dentist to explain procedures to you. You may also want to ask for a running commentary about what they are about to do, what sensations and sounds to expect, and how long each part of the procedure will last. This may not suit everyone so just let your dentist and dental nurse know your preferences.
- Breathing techniques: Breathe deeply and evenly (in for 5, out for 5). When breathing in, inhale slowly through your nose while pushing your belly out. Make a conscious effort to relax all the muscles in your body.
- Meditation: Practice meditating and imagining you are not in the dentist but maybe on a beach, or in your favourite place.
- Eyes closed/open: You may find dental treatment easier with your eyes closed, or you may prefer to keep your eyes open. Why not try both and see which you prefer?
- Numbing gel: Talk to your dentist about using a numbing gel on your gums if you have a fear of needles.
After your dental visit:
- Celebrate: Treat yourself and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Taking the first steps to try and beat your anxiety is a big deal and is worth rewarding.
- Schedule your next appointment: Before you leave, book your next treatment day. It is much easier to stay in a routine with you dentist if you keep to a schedule.