We all know that visiting the dentist is necessary to maintain a healthy set of teeth. Unfortunately, up to 30% of U.S. adults regularly put off going to the dentist or refuse to go altogether because of anxiety and fear of pain. Your friends here at Bertagnolli Dental have put together some helpful tips to make visits less painful.
1. Communicate your anxieties to your dentist. Dentists are very receptive to hearing the concerns of their patients and can adjust their treatments accordingly. If you are upfront about your particular fears, sensitivities, or past bad experiences, everyone will be on the same page and have an easier time.
2. Visit the dentist more frequently. This might seem counter-intuitive for those with an aversion to the dentist's chair, however, the more frequently you visit your dentist, the healthier your mouth is. Generally, you will need less invasive procedures. A quick teeth cleaning visit every six months is a lot less painful and stressful than a root canal every two years.
3. Improve your dental hygiene. This is by far the easiest way to avoid pain at the dentist. Brushing and flossing regularly will prevent the vast majority of dental issues experienced by most people. Learn how to brush your teeth correctly. Switch to an electric toothbrush if it is more comfortable. If you find flossing difficult or uncomfortable, use floss sticks, it is well worth it in the long run.
4. Ask about anesthesia or sedative options. Depending on the procedure, your dentist may be able to use lidocaine gel, nitrous oxide, sedatives or a general anesthetic. Reducing your sensation and awareness of dental procedures is well worth it if it means you actually go through with them.
5. Choose Invisalign tooth aligners over traditional braces. Many people experience some pain with traditional orthodontic braces. This pain is usually most intense right after a visit to get them tightened. Mouth sores can be caused by the metal brackets rubbing, or broken wires. With fully plastic aligners, you are much less likely to experience irritation or acute pain from tightening.
6. Plan ahead for a positive experience. There are actions you can take to turn a stressful appointment into a calm and controlled experience. If you practice yoga or meditation, take 30 minutes before your appointment to focus and calm your mental state. Maybe even take a positive mantra with you into the dental clinic. Use some calming essential oils on your temples, bring earphones and pleasant music to listen to during procedures and carry a stress ball or worry beads to keep your hands busy.
7. Choose a dentist that incorporates the latest technologies in their dental practice. Computer Aided Design or CAD is used by many dentists to produce dental models and devices such as dentures. Making use of this technology means that patients can experience faster and less invasive procedures. Traditionally, to take a mold of a mouth, a dentist would fill a small tray with putty and place it inside the patient's mouth with the teeth clamped down until the putty hardened. This method can be very uncomfortable and stressful for many patients, as it can induce a feeling of choking, or not being able to breathe. With modern tools, a dentist can take an accurate 3D image of the inside of your mouth without even touching your teeth.
Now that you know dentist visits can be less painful with these helpful tips, go ahead and schedule your next appointment with Bertagnolli Dental. We specialize in listening to our patients and easing their fears. We’ll help you improve your dental hygiene and get you on a regular schedule for cleanings and checkups to ensure your teeth are healthy and your visits are stress-free.