When did you last go to the dentist for a checkup? If it's been several years, you may fear what awaits when you do make an appointment and know that every day without a visit makes the matter worse. Still, you can't help yourself if you don't like the sound of the drill, dislike the sights and smells associated with the office or believe that you are not in control. All of this overwhelms your natural logic and simply prolongs the inevitable. However, modern-day dentists know how to take these stumbling blocks into account to try and persuade more people to get their regular checkups. How are they approaching this sensitive subject?

Understanding the Experience

For many people, discomfort will begin as they enter the front door of the facility. Their heartbeat will begin to race as they realise that they're entering a challenging environment, and they worry what's going to happen next. Dentists understand this psychological fear and are ready to break the patient in gently as he or she arrives.

Informal Beginnings

These days, it's more common for a dentist to meet with the patient in an informal area outside the actual surgery or in a side office. They will sit in comfortable chairs without those machines and bright lights and talk normally about the possible procedure.

Show and Tell

The aim is to put the patient at ease, and the dentist will also begin to describe their methods, should treatment be required.

Dentists call this desensitisation, and it is designed to alleviate the fear of the unknown. The dentist can illustrate the procedure ahead and demonstrate the tools or products they will use before they move into the treatment room to begin any work.

Additional Preparation

Some dentists advise that a particularly sensitive patient do some practising at home. For example, they may like to get an electric toothbrush to replace their manual version. This will help them get used to the noise associated with a dental implement during their office visit. They may also like to get an over-the-counter anaesthetic to help them experience that numbing sensation in advance of any procedure.

Will This Work for You?

All these procedures work alongside new techniques and advanced equipment to help make the visit less stressful than it's ever been. However, if you feel you would benefit from a process of desensitisation before you commit to a visit, talk with your local dentist as soon as possible.