Sitting in a dentist’s chair can be a nerve-wracking experience. You have probably found yourself in that situation many times, just letting your mind wander a little bit, but what exactly do most people think about? Is it how bored they are, or something a bit more dramatic like anxiety about the tools? Here are 10 of the most common things that pop into people’s minds when they are in the dentist’s chair:
1. “I hope this doesn’t hurt!” – The fear of pain can make even the most stoic patient nervous and often has the ability to keep people away from the dentist for long periods of time. For those already in the chair, the last thing they want to feel is something slipping and making their gums bleed.
2. “I hope my breath doesn’t stink!” – Think about this: dentists have experienced thousands of people with terrible breath, so don’t worry about what your dentist smells. He’s faced off against the worst of the worst.
3. “When is this going to be over?” – Getting a checkup or actual work done can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. Lying on the chair for an extended period of time will naturally lead patients to anxiously await the procedure to be finished.
4. “What does that do?!” – Dental tools have all sorts of different uses, work in various ways, and can seem scary to those who have never used them. It is hard not to look at something that you do not have much experience with (especially if it’s sharp) and wonder how it works.
5. “Please don’t find a cavity!” – Cavities are usually filled on the spot, which typically involves the use of a local anesthetic. Having a needle put into your gums never feels good, so brushing and flossing regularly are necessary to avoid these little complications.
6. “I wonder if I have any missed texts…” – Having your iPhone out texting or browsing social media is a great way to kill time, but it is nearly impossible to do in a dentist’s chair. You would be getting in the way of the dentist and even the small movements from your hands can affect what is going on in your mouth, so leave your phone in your pocket.
7. “I wonder how much this is going to cost…” – Cost can be a major factor in deciding whether or not to get work done. Asking about the cost upfront is a good way to get this worry out of your mind.
8. “We didn’t have TVs in the exam rooms when I was younger!” – Entertainment setups in exam rooms are great these days, and fairly common at that! Many dental offices offer TVs in the exam rooms to keep your mind occupied while your mouth is getting worked on.
9. “I need to go to the bathroom.” – Nature inevitably seems to call at the worst times. Avoid this tricky situation by using the restroom beforehand or asking your dentist for a small break.
10. “How soon do I have to be back here?” – Most dentists recommend checkups every six months, but if you are having additional dental work done, you may need to come back quite a bit sooner. Your dentist will tell you when to make your next appointment.
Visiting the dentist is a different experience for everyone. With emotions ranging from antsy to calm, cool, and collected, the range of thoughts that run through the minds of those in the dentist’s chair vary drastically. Whether you experience anxiety or don’t mind the dentist, just remember that annual visits are just what you need to prevent periodontal disease and other teeth related issues.