Dentists recommend a routine cleaning every 6 months to stay on top of potential problems and detect new ones before they become serious. People love to avoid the dentist for many reasons. They’re too busy, or they’re afraid of the dentist, or it isn’t a high priority.
Attending routine dental appointments is an important component of maintaining your physical health. Your oral health directly affects the rest of your physical health, and your physical health can affect your oral health in more ways than you know.
Especially if you’re pregnant or have a condition that predisposes you to tooth decay or gum disease, it’s important to maintain a regular schedule of teeth cleanings and maintenance. It’s easy to make excuses, but dentists have been trying to make it easier to come in.
If you’re dealing with a busy schedule with work, school, or children, it can be difficult to take the time out of your day to schedule an appointment. Dentists are working to make it easier for you to maintain your oral health by working with your needs.
Some dentists allow streamlined appointments by electronic means instead of having to call to set them up. Some patients find this to be a better option.
If your schedule is in the way, try to find a dentist that keeps late or early hours and schedule an appointment for when it’s most convenient for you.
If you have children that need to be cared for while you’re at the dentist, try to find a family dentist. Not only do they have waiting rooms with activities for children, but they can sometimes schedule your child’s appointment at the same time so you can both get your teeth taken care of.
If you’re going to need specialty care, such as if you need tooth replacement or root canals and your dentist doesn’t provide these services, sometimes they’ll have a specialist in the same office or who also keeps late or early hours in order to accommodate your needs.
Some dentists are now taking payments online. Some even offer payment plans so you won’t have to pay expensive bills up-front in order to schedule your appointment to manage your oral health. Look for a dentist with flexible payment options as well as flexible hours.
Find a dentist who is used to working with your insurance, if you have dental insurance. You won’t have to wait as long or schedule multiple appointments to try to get complicated procedures done while your insurance tries to deny coverage.
If you don’t have dental insurance, there are low-cost clinics and colleges that offer dental services at significantly cheaper rates. Getting in before problems become serious can save you money and time in the chair. Preventative measures protect you from complications down the road.
Fear of Dentists
Some people are afraid to admit that they’re afraid to go to the dentist. Don’t be. Your dentist has plenty of tips to help you conquer your fear to maintain your oral health. Find a dentist that’s willing to work with you, especially if you have issues that can cause pain such as TMJ. Avoiding the dentist because you’re afraid will only make the problem worse as your oral health deteriorates and problems crop up.
If fear and pain are issues, you may also want to look into finding a dentist who will work with sedation techniques. Different dentists offer differing levels of sedation. Anything from oral pharmaceuticals that will take the edge off and leave you entirely lucid all the way to general anesthesia, particularly for complicated or painful procedures, can leave you feeling in control of your care and pain management, which can lessen your fear.
If you have anxiety over visiting the dentist, you may want to see about scheduling an appointment beforehand to go over any questions you might have about the type of treatment you will be receiving. You can take this time to figure out how you and your dentist can work together as a team to build a relationship that will help you get the care you need in an easy and painless way.
Make your oral health a priority and find an oral health professional who can work with you to address your needs no matter what they might be. Dentists are doing their best to try to address the hurdles their patients might be dealing with in order to provide the services their patients need in the best way possible. Unlike some other care providers, many dentists are making customized patient needs a priority. Don’t be afraid to shop around to find a dentist who will be a good fit for you or your family.