Modern-day dentists are increasingly using a process known as desensitisation in order to help patients alleviate any fear they may have when visiting the dentist's chair. What is involved and how can you embrace this?
Many patients may consider the dental surgery and the chair itself to be a challenging environment and may become stressed if they are invited to immediately take their place in the chair upon arrival, as if awaiting imminent treatment. Psychologically, dentists have found that a process of desensitisation can be significantly helpful, especially where the patient has not visited the dentist for some time.
In this case, a more informal meeting with the dentist is in order. This can often happen in a side office before entering the surgery. The dentist will then have a "casual" look inside the mouth without all those bright lights and mirrors. Often, this is a time when the dentist can reassure you that it's not as bad as you might have thought.
This will allow you to be much more relaxed when you actually visit the dentist's chair itself for a more comprehensive examination.
How You Can Practice at Home
Some patients find that they can also "practice" for a visit to the dentist by desensitising themselves at home. For example, they may use an over-the-counter anaesthetic to simulate the numbing sensation that they will experience prior to a procedure. This can help them get over the feeling they may have when their gums are numb. Other patients are taking up the practice of using an electric toothbrush instead of a manual one, so that they get used to the "dental noise" that can be an integral part of the office visit.
Ultimately, desensitisation is meant to reduce anxiety by making the patient gradually get used to anything that may cause fear. Therefore, the dentist will initially provide a full explanation of what's about to happen, as well as showing the products or tools that will be used. The dentist can give the patient a visual demonstration of the technique in front of them before moving inside the mouth to commence the actual work.
Your Next Step
All these procedures are part of the modern-day experience at the dental office, designed to make your visit much more relaxing. During your next visit, don't forget to ask the dentist as many questions as you need prior to any work commencing.