Not that long ago I posted on my social media that I would be seeing the dentist. A lot of people wished me well, and some mentioned feeling anxiety even though they weren’t the one to go to the dentist.
If you are seeing a new dentist it can be quite scary. One way to help with that is to meet them beforehand. The same for going to a new place, map it out beforehand and take a recon trip.
If a dentist asks how numb you feel and you honestly don’t know.. ask them to perform a “cold” test. This is where they put something really cold on the area. If you can feel it.. you aren’t frozen enough for dental work to be done. I can’t tell you how numb anything is, but I can tell you if I feel cold.
There is nothing that can be done to prevent the sound of the drill. However you can bring a squishy toy, or putty fidget to squeeze when you hear the sound. It’s not perfect but it may help redirect your attention a little from the sound.
Some Dentist offices have computer monitors that double as a tv screen that you can view while the dentist is working or they may have an actual tv. Make sure to ask for the remote and change it to a channel with something distracting. I chose cartoons one day and NCIS the next. (I had multiple appointments recently)
Also, you may need extra freezing depending on where they are working. For example, the bottom of my mouth required a lot more freezing then the top, so don’t be afraid to communicate with your dentist! They don’t want you to hurt.
I’ve had good dentists, and bad ones over the course of my lifetime. The best ones are the ones that listen to you. They explain what’s going on and even adjust the temperature of the water if needed (during cleaning they used room temp water). The needle for freezing is a skill and there are different ways it can be done. It’s like finding a good person for doing a blood draw when you get bloodwork. Some are great, some are okay.. and some you don’t want doing it.
My team was great, and I really appreciate them. Dental work is an essential part of healthy living that not everyone has access to. If you have coverage for it, remember to use it for dental cleanings. A good dental hygienist will also check for oral cancer when you go.
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