If you’re anxious about your next dental visit, read on. Over 15% of Americans avoid visiting the dentist out of fear–mostly because they don’t know what kind of practices and procedures their dentist will use. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to oral health–over 50% of individuals skipped the dentist visit in 2009 according to the CDC. This can lead to cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss. To mentally prepare yourself for your next dental visit, read the following tips so that you are ready to go and excited for healthy teeth.

Communicate with us. As dentists, we are receptive to your concerns and fears. Even questions are good for reducing anxiety and can help you alleviate the fear of the unknown. Many patients do not realize that their dentist is looking out for their best interests and wants to make you happy. If you have any questions or concerns let us know so we can make sure to get you the answers you need. Many older people find themselves terrified of the dentist because of procedures performed in childhood when the technology was less advanced. Talk to us about what your next dental visit will feel like and if you should be prepared for any procedures.

Understand gestures. If you are worried about having your mouth full during the procedure or appointment and fear your dentist will not know what is wrong you can come up with a series of gestures with us so we know what means stop. For example, holding up a hand can be a cue that you are feeling uncomfortable and we can make the appropriate adjustments. Your dental visit is all about how comfortable you are.

Learn about the medication. Even though anesthesia in the past was often ineffective and left patients feeling their procedures, the chemical painkillers today are strong enough for you to be fully conscious and not notice when someone is working on your teeth. Ask about the nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, that makes dental visits more fun and less painful. These painkillers can also help to calm jumpy nerves.

Take a break. You don’t have to feel like you must undergo the procedure in one step. If you start feeling anxious during the procedure or need a minute during an exam because you feel claustrophobic simply let us know and we will work with you to make you feel comfortable and at ease while sitting in the chair. If you have concerns about your upcoming dental visit or do not know what to bring, rest assured that the team at A Beautiful Smile will work to accommodate your needs. Call us today to contact your dentist and learn what your next visit will entail.