People with tinnitus may not look forward to visiting the dentist. While the dentist uses a variety of tools to assist them while working on your teeth, the same tools can make your visit unbearable. Fortunately, there are easy actions you can take to make your next visit tolerable. Here are five steps to consider when preparing to go to the dentist.
1. Prepare yourself mentally to reduce anxiety
While you may not look forward to visiting the dentist, it is important to keep your thoughts and feelings in a positive place because your peace of mind comes first. Keep the situation in perspective. You know it is necessary to go to the dentist to maintain your dental health. Meditate on phrases or words that encourage calmness while helping you to stay focused.
2. Learn more about the dental procedure
If you are having a dental procedure done, assess the process to help prepare yourself for what’s to come. Steps part of the procedure could be changed to help you adjust, or another option with a different procedure may provide a better experience. Some procedures could be completed over multiple visits to reduce the amount of time spent in the chair. Ask about switching or substituting tools to make being in the chair for an extended time easier.
3. Determine how to mask noises
Many with tinnitus dread going to the dentist because certain tools used in procedures create noises that seem unbearable. Procedures that include dental tools that make noises may be easier to handle when using noise-canceling headphones or earbuds. Bring your favorite sounds to listen to such as nature sounds, calming music, or white noise. You may not be able to completely block sounds from the dental tools, but you create sound your ears can gravitate toward to make your experience more tolerable.
4. Consider ways to help yourself be comfortable during the procedure
As you learn more about what to expect during your dental visit consider ways to improve your level of comfort. You can make a plan on how to be comfortable and use it as a guide. Practice relaxing your jaw and body muscles to limit the amount of tension experienced. Consider meditation or deep breathing exercises.
5. Talk to your dentist about your tinnitus
Let the dentist know about your tinnitus. The situation is common with many dentists able to offer different ideas on how to make your experience as comfortable as possible. Review dental procedures and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Some dental practices provide special support for people with tinnitus. They work closely with patients to minimize discomfort while learning how to help more efficiently.
Understanding what happens during dental procedures may help determine what you can do to make things more comfortable for you. Planning ahead and taking proactive steps to prepare for the dentist can reduce stress and make it easier to attend future appointments.