The Trip to the Dentist – Calming Your Dental Anxiety
If you have an upcoming dental appointment or if you have been avoiding your dentist for any period of time, you may have a case of dental anxiety. Have no fear! Studies indicate that by knowing what to expect during a routine dental appointment and being assured there usually isn’t pain involved, this common type of anxiety can be eased and sometimes even eliminated. Read on for a detailed article on what happens on a trip to the dentist.
Your meeting will begin with filling out paperwork regarding your medical and dental history, personal information and insurance details.
You will then be taken back to the exam room where the dentist will begin your check up. He or she will start by reclining you in the exam chair and shining a bright light in your face toward your mouth. Next, you will open your mouth and the dental provider will look at your teeth and gums and insert a small mirror and scraping tool into your mouth to remove any buildup on your teeth. While the tools may look ominous, their use will not cause you any pain.
After the provider performs this initial exam, it will be time for your x-rays. You will put on a heavy vest and plastic tabs will be placed in your mouth for you to bite on. These tabs will probably feel strange in your mouth, but they won’t hurt. You will be led to another room and asked to stand in front of the x-ray machine for the images to be taken.
Following your x-rays, the dentist will return you to the exam room for your teeth cleaning. There are times when the cleaning actually tickles, specifically when the polishing tool nears your gumline. Cleanings don’t cause any pain. The provider will periodically place the suction straw in your mouth to eliminate excess saliva during the cleaning. This is a noisy tool, but doesn’t hurt. The dentist will also eject small sprays of water into your mouth to rinse during the cleaning. Before you know it, this portion of your appointment will be completed.
Following your cleaning, your dental provider will discuss with you proper dental care and address any questions you have. If he or she noted any problems with your teeth or gums during the exam, you will make another appointment for treatment.
Now that you know what you can expect at your dental appointment, and are assured that under normal circumstances there is no pain involved in general exams and cleanings, you can let your anxieties go and look forward to enjoying clean teeth and being free from worry.