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Preparing for Your Upcoming Dental Procedure


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Whether you’ve been told that you need a relatively routine procedure like a root canal or you’re preparing for a more involved procedure like gum tissue graft surgery, you’re probably experiencing at least a bit of anxiety. Dental anxiety– or a sense of fear or uneasiness related to going to the dentist– is extremely common. This anxiety is often exacerbated when a trip to the dentist involves undergoing a procedure like those mentioned above. Preparing for your dental procedure in advance, however, can be a great way to help you feel more comfortable on the day of your appointment. But how can you prepare for a procedure you’ve never had before? Consider the following tips:

Ask plenty of questions. A lot of anxiety related to dental procedures stems from fear of the unknown. A good way to alleviate this anxiety, then, it to ask your dentist plenty of questions beforehand. What should you ask? Of course, that depends on the particular procedure you’ll be having, but some good general questions include:


  • How long do you anticipate the procedure taking?
  • What exactly will happen during my procedure?
  • What are my anesthesia/pain-relief options?
  • Will I be able to drive myself to and from the appointment?
  • Will I need more than one appointment?
  • Are there any possible complications? If so, what are they?
  • What can I expect during the recovery period?
  • When can I resume normal activities?
  • What foods/drinks should I avoid after the procedure?

Give your insurance company a call. Before any dental procedure, it’s a good idea to check in with your insurance carrier to see if the particular procedure you’re having is covered fully, partially, or not at all. Sometimes, procedures that are deemed cosmetic in nature are not covered by insurance carriers. Knowing this information in advance can help you budget and discuss payment options with your dentist’s office. Some offices offer services on sliding scales based on financial need. Others offer discounts for cash payments upfront or for families with multiple children. Financing might also be an option. Simply put: if your insurance company doesn’t cover a procedure– or if you don’t have dental insurance at all– don’t despair.

Follow all instructions carefully. Your dentist is likely to give you some instructions to follow before surgery. For example, she might instruct you to stop taking certain medications prior to your procedure. Alternatively, she might prescribe certain medications– such as an antibiotic– for you to take before your procedure, particularly if you are prone to infection. Finally, there might be rules and restrictions regarding what you can eat and drink before your appointment. It’s important to pay close attention to all of the instructions you’re given and follow them carefully to ensure a successful procedure.

Plan for your recovery period. Chances are, you’re not going to feel up to doing much immediately following your dental procedure. With this in mind, make sure to plan for your recovery in advance. What should be on your recovery period checklist? First, make sure that you book a ride to and from your appointment in advance. Depending on what type of procedure you’re having, it might also be helpful to arrange to have someone stay with you for the first 24 hours or so while you recover. Stock up on recovery-friendly foods, like soups and yogurts. If possible, have any necessary prescriptions filled in advance, so they’re ready for you when you get home after your procedure.

Since most people will need some type of dental procedure beyond a simple cavity filling in their lives, it’s good to know how to prepare ahead of time. If you have additional questions about how to prepare for your upcoming dental procedure, contact Caputo Dental today.

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