Getting the Most Out of Going to the Dentist Office

1 February 2010

When it comes to being fully informed about keeping your teeth healthy and all other things dental, there is obviously no one better to talk to than a dentist. However, many of us find ourselves “freezing up” a bit once we actually arrive at a dental office for a variety of reasons, even perhaps due to having some amount of “odotophobia” (as mentioned in a previous blog entry). Unfortunately, the end result of our “freezing up” is that we don’t end up fully communicating to our dentists all of our dental needs. Here are a few examples of what I mean…

First off, it is important that you remember that dentists are people too, and therefore they are all different. They all have different approaches in how they treat patients, i.e. they all have different “bedside manners.” Therefore, it is always good to get to know your dentist’s style before you dive too deep into your dental care with him or her. So before getting to the point when it might be time to undergo a major dental procedure, be sure to schedule a routine visit with your dentist first. This way, you can get to know your dentist and have the potential of building a more trusting relationship with him or her. And remember, if your dentist’s approach doesn’t sit right with you, you may want to consider going to someone else for dental care that you can feel more comfortable with.

Secondly, once you know that you are with a dentist that you do indeed feel comfortable with, it is important to make sure to share all of your potentially pertinent medical information with him or her. This means telling your dentist about things like any prescription medications that you may be taking and of any medical conditions that you might have. You would be surprised to know how many different medical conditions can make it so that certain special precautions should be taken upon undergoing any major dental procedure. Additionally, you should definitely express to your dentist any mental concerns or fears that you may have regarding the undergoing of any procedure, even if it is just that you have an overall fear of going to the dentist itself. Don’t be shy! Your dentist would much rather know of your feelings and concerns beforehand, so that he or she can do a better job making you feel as comfortable as possible.

Lastly, it is extremely important to keep your dentist fully informed of any pain, sensitivity, or other symptoms that you may have regarding your teeth. Many patients don’t want to do this because they fear that they will be getting themselves into more “trouble” by revealing to the dentist new problems that will then have to be dealt with. However, it is important to keep in mind that you are at the dentist office in the first place in order to get rid of (and/or prevent) any potential dental problems that you might have. So why would you want to keep anything like that a secret? Also, by choosing to keep quiet about any tooth pain, you may just end up having to undergo a more serious dental procedure later instead.

So, be sure to communicate clearly and thoroughly with your dentist about everything we’ve talked about here. By making sure that you keep him or her as fully informed as possible, you will be guaranteed to get the most out of all your future trips to the dentist office.

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