It’s actually not uncommon for people to go a long while without visiting the dentist. Unfortunately, many people have a phobia of dentists, often due to a bad experience in the past. One bad experience in a dentist’s chair with a dentist who doesn’t care much about comfort, or simply made a mistake can traumatize a person into not wanting to go back for quite a while.
If you’re one of these people, the best thing we can recommend is clear communication with a new dentist. Don’t feel alone in your plight, a fear of dentists is very common, and you won’t be the first person to tell your new dentist that you’re a nervous. Telling your dental administrator and dentist ahead of time that it’s been a while since you’ve been to a dental office, and that you’re a little afraid is smart because it will help them prepare for your specific needs. They’ll likely be a little slower and more communicative with you about what they’re about to do, and they’ll be able to help you feel more comfortable. They even have tools like anestesia, noise cancelling headphones, and nitrous oxide that can help with patients like you who need a little extra comfort.
If you tell your dentist about your fear over the phone and they seem unconcerned or apathetic, this is a good sign that you should choose a dentistmore suited to your needs. In order to help you feel a little more prepared for your first visit after a long break, here is what you should go in expecting.
Since it’s been a while since you’ve visited, it’s normal for there to be a little soreness involved. If your gums aren’t in great shape, you’ll probably feel a slight bit of pain from having them worked on. Just make sure you’re comfortable enough with your dentist that you can communicate with them if the pain is too much, and you need a break. Any reputable dentist will work with you to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible, even when some pain is necessary.
A Long Visit
Normal dental appointments can be fairly speedy, but if it’s been a while, your dentist is going to want some extra time with your teeth. You’ll need x-rays as well, which can take a while to review. After one or two longer visits, you should be able to get back to short appointments, as long as you keep up with them every 6 months.
You probably already expected this, but since it’s been a long time since your last “tune up”, you’ve probably racked up a few extra problems that will need to be paid for. This includes cavities, gum issues, loose crowns, yellowing teeth, etc. Just be prepared to spend a little more than you would at a normal cleaning.
We hope this blog helped prepare you for your visit, and didn’t scare you off again. It’s wonderful that you’ve decided to stop putting off this important task, and start taking care of your smile. With the right dentist, you can get through this with as little discomfort as possible, and get back on track with your oral health.