Whether you visit a dentist just once a year or for a certain procedure; it is very common for people to be afraid of the dentist. Especially if you are visiting a new dentist, a common solution is for the patient and dentist to sit down together to talk to get to know each other and the patients concerns about dental procedures. If you are afraid of the metal objects, drills, or other dental equipment ask if you can look at them first or how they are used so you can become more familiar with them. Along with drills, loud noise can come into place and bringing ear plugs with you to your dental visit can help reduce the noise. If you find it difficult to breathe through your mouth and nose during the dental procedure, nose strips can help your ability to breathe and can make your visit more relaxing.
To help ease a patient’s anxiety during a visit, dentists can do several things:
- Use humor, but have good judgment as well to what the patient may find or not find funny.
- If necessary take breaks during dental procedures, especially during extensive visits.
- Ask a patient to notify you (such as raising their hand) if they feel any pain or are uncomfortable.
How Safe Are Dental X-Rays?
In order for dentists and hygienists to have a better understanding of the dental health of their patients, several x-rays from either side of the mouth may be taken during a visit. X-rays can help detect early stages of disease such as cavities and gingivitis that is otherwise difficult to see by eyes alone.
To help reduce exposure to already low-levels of radiation as by ADA guidelines, patients’ abdominals and thyroid collars are covered by a protective lead apron. E or F speed film, two of the quickest film speeds available, are used as well during the x-ray.
When it comes to visiting the dentist, a patient may have many questions and concerns about their dental health and visits. Hopefully this has helped to have some of your dental questions answered, but a visit to the dentist can help to best meet your individual dental needs and concerns.