Haven’t been to the dentist in a while?

Haven't been to the dentist in a while? Don't be afraid.
Photo by CC user Unsplash on Pixabay.

While many people hesitate to see the doctor when their health seems off, it is nothing compared to the mental gymnastics that some folks perform when it comes to avoiding trips to the dentist.

Despite the deeply rooted phobias that many have, the fear of having not gone for many years may finally outweigh their aversion to going.

If you are thinking of biting the bullet and heading in to see a dentist such as Dr. Peter Spennato, here are a few things you should keep in mind before your scheduled appointment.

You are not alone

The first thing that you should bear in mind is that you are far from the first person who has spent significant time away from the dentist’s office.

Frequently, after one no longer qualifies for dental coverage under their parent’s insurance, they neglect to seek out a policy of their own if they don’t have one through their place of employment.

If they perceive themselves to be in good dental health and have kept up with brushing and flossing, they may not see a reason to visit the dentist, despite the problems that can arise.

In other cases, a traumatic experience at a dentist’s office as a child can trigger feelings of intense fear when one entertains the thought of going as an adult.

No matter the reason for forgoing regular dental maintenance, what matters is that you are about to right this wrong.

What to do during your upcoming appointment

The first you should do prior to heading in for your appointment is to breathe – chances are good that this encounter will go far better than you are expecting.

Once you have calmed yourself sufficiently, make certain that you get to your dentist’s office earlier than you normally would arrive for a doctor’s appointment, as you will likely need to fill in paperwork that you might not be familiar with.

These papers will allow your new dentist to get familiar with your dental and medical background so that they can treat safely and effectively, so take your time and fill out the sections thoroughly.

Don’t forget your proof of insurance, and be sure to write down any questions you might have before leaving for the office so that you don’t forget what you want to ask when you get there.

This will help to clear up any misconceptions and alleviate concerns you might have, thereby allowing the dentist and his staff to go about their work without them having to worry about triggering a panic attack in you.

What to expect while you are in the chair

The chair is likely what is stressing you out the most. The fear that they might hurt you with their pointy instruments, or that they might find something seriously wrong with your mouth ranks highly among the fears that many people have.

If you have been keeping up with your brushing, the worst that will likely happen is that your hygienist will probably spend a prolonged period of time busting excess plaque off your teeth.

Occasionally, there may be a nick or two, and your gums might bleed if you haven’t been flossing, but neither of these situations are nothing to worry about, as the training that these professionals have will ensure that they will get your mouth clean without any serious incidents.