Has it been a while since you last visited the dentist? Does the mere thought of going in for a checkup fill you with dread? A good dentist neither scolds nor lectures patients. He or she works with his or her patients to ensure that everyone has his or her most desirable mouth. But even if you already knew this intellectually, you may still feel apprehensive about your upcoming visit. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to help make things easier on yourself. A few of these things are:
Listen to music: The sound of the drill and other tools that your dentist may use can set your nerves on edge and make it difficult for you to sit still. Fortunately, dental work seldom requires you to do anything besides holding your mouth open. Bring along a good set of headphones and a selection of calming music to your next dental appointment. While the dentist is looking at your teeth and doing work, you can put on the headphones and listen to your music. A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones will block out or muffle many of the sounds that would otherwise bother you, helping to keep you calm and relaxed while the work progresses.
Create a plan with your dentist: Your dentist would rather that you have at least minor work performed on your teeth instead of nothing at all. He or she should be willing to work with you to set up a strategy that can help you with your anxiety. Even though modern root canals are often almost entirely pain-free, you and your dentist may decide that your care plan involves simply pulling these teeth instead so that you don't have to listen to the drill. In addition, you and your dentist should agree on a hand sign for when you need to take a break from the dental work.
Bring someone with you: It may initially seem silly, but it can help immensely to know that you have a friend or a relative out in the waiting room cheering you on. Your dentist may even allow your friend or relative into the office with you. There's nothing wrong with needing a hand to hold or wanting to hear a familiar voice during your dental appointment. If your dentist won't allow a friend or relative to be in the same room while your teeth are being worked on, ask your friend or relative to record him or her speaking or singing. Instead of commercial music, you can listen to this recording during your dental appointment and, with your eyes closed, pretend that your friend is in the room with you.
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