If you have a dental procedure coming up and you’re feeling quite anxious about it, you’re not alone. Approximately 36% of Americans fear dental treatment, with 12% having an extreme fear. A giant source of that anxiety is fear of the unknown. We naturally dread situations that leave us in the dark. Not knowing what to expect is scary.
Knowledge is power. The more we know, the calmer we feel. So, before your procedure, ask your dentist all the questions under the sun if it will help ease your mind and calm your nerves. We have had tremendous advances in dental technology over the last ten years, making dental surgery more accessible than ever.
Whether you’re going under for wisdom teeth removal, getting a tooth extracted, or soft tissue grafting, you need to ask your dentist nine critical questions beforehand:
1. What Will Happen During My Procedure?
You have every right to know what to expect from your procedure. Ask your dentist to walk you through the process and explain each step. They shouldn’t give you a hard time about it, as you deserve a dentist who will help ease your worries instead of adding to them. Ask about the length of the procedure, what will happen, what type of anesthesia, and any other concerns you may have. Don’t be shy. Your dentist in Utah will want to do everything they can to help you be more comfortable with the procedure and you’ll feel better, too.
2. Will I Need Someone to Drive Me Home?
Some minor surgeries do not require another person to drive you home. If you stay awake for the procedure, you can drive yourself to and from your surgery appointment. However, if your procedure requires general anesthesia or heavy sedation, you’ll need someone to drive you home from the appointment. Make sure you ask this ahead of time and prepare accordingly.
3. What Will My Recovery Look Like?
Recovery times range significantly based on procedure type and severity. Ask your surgeon what to expect regarding your recovery time. Will you need to take time off work? Will you need to get extra help with your kids? Will you be in excruciating pain? These are essential questions to ask so you can make the proper arrangements.
4. What Are the Risks?
Like any surgical procedure, there’s always a chance of complications when undergoing dental surgery. Ask your surgeons what the potential risks are associated with your specific procedure and the likelihood of facing one of the risks. Ask if there is anything you can do to help prevent any side effects or complications.
5. When Can I Resume My Normal Physical Activities?
It can be easy to lose patience after a procedure and crave your routine again. The transition becomes easier when you know what to expect. Ask your dentist if you should wait a certain amount before jumping back into exercising and other physical activities.
6. What Can I Eat/Drink?
Sometimes there’s a list of foods and drinks to avoid after a dental procedure. Ask your dentist to provide a list, if applicable, and how long to wait before returning to your typical diet.
7. Will I Need Pain Meds?
Ask your dentist what your pain level will be post-surgery and if medication will be a part of your recovery. Make sure to disclose any allergies you have. Some procedures result in mild discomfort, while others leave you with intense discomfort for a few days. Your dentist may play it by ear and see how you feel after the procedure.
8. Will I Be Sedated?
It’s vital to ask about sedation. Does your procedure require it? Is it an option? Is it necessary? Sedation can make dental surgery a faster and more comfortable experience. Find out if it’s an option for your type of dental treatment.
9. Will There Be a Follow-Up?
Ask your dentist/surgeon if you’ll need to come back for a follow-up appointment. Your dentist likely will want to see you back in the office to evaluate how your mouth is recovering and remove sutures if you had any placed (unless they’re dissolvable).
Dental operations can be scary, especially if you’re about to experience one for the first time. Whether your procedure is minor or pretty severe, knowing what to expect is crucial to staying relaxed and feeling in control of your health. Be your own advocate, do your research, and don’t be afraid to bombard your dental professional with questions.
If you’ve been putting off going to the dentist, here’s your reminder to make an appointment and resolve your dental issues. We’ve got you covered if you’re new to the area and need a top Utah Family Dentist.