Dental checkups are an essential part of your overall healthcare regimen, but they can be a source of anxiety for many people. Whether you have a phobia that makes dental appointments difficult or feel stressed about starting with a new practitioner, these tips will help ensure your next dental checkup is a breeze.
• Go over your budget and payment options when you book the appointment. Worrying about whether or not the office accepts your insurance or how expensive the checkup will be can add an extra and unnecessary layer of stress to your visit. If you’re feeling anxious about your upcoming appointment, one of the best things you can do is handle as many logistical aspects as possible before you even set foot in the office. Be proactive and discuss insurance coverage and payment options when you book your appointment rather than waiting until you are in the office.
• Brush and floss before your appointment. A complete cleaning is part of a regular dental checkup. Still, dentists and dental assistants appreciate clients making the extra effort to clean away the residue of their last meal or eliminate any lingering coffee breath. If you have other things to do before your appointment, like errands or work, pack your toothbrush and a bit of dental floss in the car, your briefcase, or your purse. You can step into the dental office’s bathroom and freshen up once you arrive for your appointment. Having a clean and fresh mouth before your appointment is not only considerate to the dental technician; it can also help you feel more confident as you settle into the chair.
• Arrive early. It’s always a good idea to be considerate of other people’s time, but an early arrival can also help you ease any anxieties and feel calm and prepared before your appointment. Early arrival to your dental checkup will give you time to check in and review the day’s procedure with the receptionist or front desk, fill out history forms or other paperwork, use the restroom, and take a few calming breaths if you’re feeling anxious.
• Communicate any fears or anxieties. Your dentist wants to make you feel as comfortable and confident as possible, so make sure you have discussed any phobias or anxieties before the dental checkup commences. Clear communication is critical, so speak up and let them know what you are and aren’t comfortable with. This conversation will allow you to work together to find the best way to conduct the checkup that day and create a plan for future visits and procedures.