Planning a visit to the dentist might not be as fun as planning for a date or the annual holiday party. Most of us just want to get it over with, dismissing important steps to prepare for it, but not to worry. Keeping your oral health in good condition is at the top of our list, so here are a few pointers to prepare for a dental visit – whether it’s a regular check-up, a dental cleaning or a more invasive dental procedure.
Do you know your dentist? How are you paying for your dental care?
Knowing who your dentist is going to be and how much is going to cost you are the first steps to take.
If you have insurance, the first step is to check your network, participating dentists, and details of coverage. You’ll then know who your options are, and you will have an estimate of the cost of the procedure.
If you don’t have insurance, dental savings plans are an alternative that provide you with savings of 10%-60% on virtually all dental procedures. You can check which dentists are in the plan’s network to narrow your search.
So whether you do it through your insurance or a dental savings plans, make sure to take your time to choose the right dentist for you. The American Dental Association suggests you consider first the dentist’s office location and office hours1. Your dentist should be at a reasonable distance from your work or home, as it makes life easier not to have to travel a long way to visit your dentist. If it’s difficult to get to your dentist’s office, chances are you won’t go as often as you should.
Searching online for reviews of dentists near you might help you choose the right dentist for you. The ADA also has a list of its members. Checking with friends, relatives, social media and dental organizations might also be of some help.
Once you’ve made your pick, take your time to talk to your dentist about your concerns, your history and your needs. If you have medical records at a different dentist, make sure you transfer them prior to your visit.
Should you worry while at the dentist?
The anticipation kicks in and you now have an appointment. If your instinct is to change your dental hygiene routine to impress your dentist – don’t. Not only will your dentist notice the abrupt change -your gums will be irritated due to harsh brushing or flossing – but it won’t make a difference to your oral health. Dentists suggest you keep a healthy and constant dental hygiene routine always2.
If you have a physical condition or some type of medical ongoing treatment, make sure you let your dentist know before the appointment. This is especially important if you’re having a dental procedure that requires anaesthesia or pain medication. The risk of infection also increases with some type of illnesses or medications, so talk to your dentist.
More invasive treatments like root canals or tooth extractions will also take more time and might leave you unable to drive. Make sure you arrange transportation to stay safe.
If the thought of sitting on a dentist’s chair makes you uneasy, some dentists also recommend you have a snack before your appointment – but brush your teeth after your meal. Eating something might help with the light-headedness, but avoid sugary foods or caffeine, as these might increase your anxiety.
During your visit, you can always ask your doctor for an oral cancer examination by taking a closer look at your tongue and the insides of your cheeks for any abnormalities. You could also go over your oral hygiene techniques with your dentist for any additional tips.
Lastly, keep up with you dental health and make another appointment!
When is your next dentist appointment? Don’t forget to schedule your next visit. It’s important to continue with the regular professional dental cleanings to prevent gum disease and other illnesses.
Save 15% to 50%* at the Dentist
With an Aetna Dental Savings Plan.