Going to the dentist shouldn’t be something you dread.. Your dental experience should be one in which you feel comfortable and taken care of. Being able to trust your dentist and feel is crucial in maintaining preventive care.
An estimated 9% to 20% of Americans skip seeing an oral health provider because of anxiety. Reclaim your dental experience by finding a dentist that will work with you using these tips:
Solicit Recommendations — You get advice from friends and family on all sorts of activities, whether it’s a restaurant choice or retail purchase. So, why not do the same for your dentist? Make these people your trusted advisors and take what they think into account.
Create a List — Once you have advice from those you trust, use a handy provider search tool—like ours — to search for providers.
Schedule a Consultation — Your first trip to the dentist doesn’t need to be about having work done right away. Instead, set up a consultation. You can visit the office, meet the providers and staff, and feel comfortable with everything involved before deciding.
Your preliminary visit allows you to see the setup in the office. Maybe they have therapy dogs. Maybe they have relaxing, neutral colors on the wall. Maybe they have televisions or tablets for you to distract yourself with. These are positive signals that that dentist understands patient anxiety.
Dentist interview — Your consultation is your chance to interview your potential new dentist. Use this time to familiarize yourself with services, location, and more.
Make sure to prepare questions and address any requirements you have before committing. That way, both of you know what to expect from your ongoing relationship.
Tailor your visits — Once you have a healthy relationship with your new provider, you can begin to tailor your dental experience so that it caters to your needs and expectations. Scared of dental tools? You’re more than welcome to request they keep them out of sight. Prefer to have music playing during your appointment? You can bring headphones or use ones at the office, if available. The office is your oyster.
Read more about ways to eliminate dental fear and anxiety on our blog.