How to Prepare for Dental Procedures

Dental procedures are all a part of caring for yourself and staying healthy. They can seem stressful at first, but doing your research and creating a plan can help reduce much of the stress involved. Preparing for your procedure will include going through the initial evaluation, checking your insurance coverage and preparing for household responsibilities. These preparations will help you avoid unnecessary stress and know what to expect before and after the procedure.

During Your Initial Evaluation

During your initial evaluation, asking questions will help you get more information about the procedure, preparations, post-procedure care and more. Feel free to ask your dentist anything about the procedure to fully understand what will happen and what to do before the procedure. Here are a few specific questions you can ask about how to prepare for oral surgery:

  • What are the steps?

  • What type of anesthesia do you use?

  • How do I prepare for the surgery?

  • What is the plan for recovery?

  • What is the post-procedure diet?

  • What medications will I need?

  • Do I need to come back for a follow-up?

  • Is there anything else that is important to know before the procedure?

You can also ask your dentist about any potential issues that could come up and how they plan to handle them.

Asking these questions will give you more details about the procedure and the process. Getting answers can help relieve some of your anxiety instead of being left guessing what will happen. It is better to get all the answers you need — so don’t be afraid to ask, even if it seems self-explanatory.

Check Your Insurance for Coverage

When preparing for your dental procedure, it is essential to check your insurance for coverage. You do not want to go through an entire procedure expecting it to be covered, then end up having to pay for it. If your insurance does not cover the service, ask about financing options. At Lighthouse Dental, we offer many ways for you to plan for your treatment, including financing for up to 18 months, interest-free through Care Credit.

Dental Anxiety Game Plan

Dental anxiety is a common issue for many people. You may fear going to the dentist because of a negative experience or a dental condition that may be uncomfortable to fix. Overcoming dental anxiety can be difficult, but it’s important to be relaxed during your dental procedures to maintain a healthy smile and avoid complications.

If you deal with dental anxiety, you can work with your dentist to create a plan leading up to your procedure. One of the most crucial steps is to find a dentist you trust. Finding a dentist who prioritizes patient comfort and pain-free care can help make dental checkups and procedures more pleasant.

When creating a game plan with your dentist, you need to be honest about your dental anxiety. Many dentists have experience working with people who experience dental anxiety. If you make them aware of your condition, they will help make you as comfortable as possible and work on a game plan with you.

Some of the steps that you can add to your dental anxiety game plan include:

  • Requesting a numbing agent to reduce discomfort. Dentists regularly use numbing agents and gels to ensure patients are comfortable and do not experience any pain during dental treatment.

  • Finding appropriate distractions. Focusing on the sounds and sensations of a dental procedure can sometimes worsen dental anxiety. If you only pay attention to what is happening during your dental treatment, you will likely fixate on sensations and create more fear of the procedure itself. Finding appropriate distractions can help you focus your attention and energy on something other than your dental treatment.

  • Using relaxation techniques to calm your mind and help avoid excessive concern. These techniques include breathing exercises, the use of essential oil and meditation.

  • Finding pain-free care from a dental practice you can trust. Look for a positive environment that reduces any fear and worry associated with visiting the dentist. Lighthouse Dental offers pain-free care and calming therapies, including nitrous oxide and oral triazolam.

Prepare Household Chores & Childcare

Before your oral surgery procedure, you may need to prepare household chores and make childcare arrangements. After your procedure, you will need to take time to rest so that you can heal properly.

Here are a few ideas to help you prepare:

  • Prepare meals in advance.

  • Complete household chores like laundry and cleaning in the days leading up to your procedure.

  • Arrange for help around the house.

  • Make childcare arrangements for a day or two.

Arrange for Transportation

After your surgery, you will need to have someone drive you home. If a friend or family member can’t drive you home, make sure you have an alternate plan in place. You can use a ride share service or a taxi. You should never transport yourself while still under the effects of anesthesia.

Follow Your Dentists Instructions for Recovery

After your surgery, your dentist will give you various instructions to follow while recovering at home. You will usually follow these instructions until the follow-up appointment, where you may receive new instructions.

These instructions usually include:

  • Choosing soft food items like broths, bananas, hummus, applesauce and more.

  • Taking the prescribed pain mediation to avoid unnecessary discomfort.

  • Taking the antibiotics prescribed by your dentist to avoid infection.

  • Applying cold compresses or ice packs to the exterior of your mouth for a day after the procedure.

  • Rinsing your mouth with salt water or mouthwash starting a day after the procedure.

  • Brushing your teeth and tongue gently and carefully avoiding the site of the surgery.

  • Avoiding smoking and vigorous physical activities.

  • Avoiding driving until after you are finished with prescription pain medication.

  • After transitioning to solid foods, avoiding foods that are acidic, spicy or crunchy to prevent irritation of the gum tissue.

Find Comfortable Care at Lighthouse Dental

Now that you have a better idea of how to prepare for oral surgery, you will be ready for future dental work. Keeping these tips in mind can help you create a better experience.

Lighthouse Dental is a family-owned dental practice that offers pain-free dental care. Our cosmetic, restorative and preventative dental services give our patients happy and healthy smiles. We also specialize in patients who experience issues with dental anxiety.

Our caring, compassionate environment will help alleviate your worries about visiting the dentist’s office. We seek to reduce discomfort, pain and anxiety in each of our patients and help you along every step of your dental procedure. Contact us online today to schedule your appointment.

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