Prepare for your appointment

April 14, 2023

By Dr. Fass

Do you have a long dental appointment coming up?  While your dental team will do their best to make your treatment comfortable from a dental point of view, you can do some things to aid in your personal comfort.

First, dress appropriately.  The office is usually a bit cooler than your home to help keep the staff comfortable in all their protective garb; Gowns, masks, gloves, etc.  You may choose to dress in layers to allow you to adjust your clothing to suit your needs.  Avoid turtle necks which tend to peek out from under the waterproof bib and may get wet.

Ladies and gentlemen with long hair will not be comfortable lying on a ponytail for a long appointment.  Leave it loose or tie it to the side so that you can have your head properly positioned for the best access.

Bring some entertainment if you choose.  Music with small headphones or earbuds can make the time go faster.  Some appointments involve a number of shorter steps with waiting time in between.  Bring a book, kindle or tablet, or use your smart phone while waiting.  Just remember to put it on silent and don’t attempt to answer it while your dentist or hygienist is working.

Make sure to have your normal meals and take any regular medications.  Skipping meals can lead to a drop in blood sugar and can make you dizzy, nauseous, and even lead to fainting.  There are no dental procedures that should call for you to skip any normal medications.  Yes this includes anticoagulants (blood thinners).

In preparing your kids for their appointments, its important to let the dental team have a chance to give your child a great experience.  The less said the better before the appointment.  Phrases such as “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt.” give the child an idea that pain may be involved.  Make sure the older siblings don’t give their input either.  Often there is great delight in making a younger child cringe with imagined and often made up tales that have a child quite upset before they even get to the office.

Finally, there are a number of convenient stopping points in any procedure.  If you need a breather during the appointment, don’t hesitate to let the dentist or assistant know that you want a break.  The dental team wants your experience in the office to be as comfortable as possible.

This article was published on 04-14-2023 in The Altamont Enterprise.