It’s not uncommon to hear from someone who doesn’t have a good relationship with their dental appointments. Regular dental check-ups can feel like nightmares to some people and it’s not difficult to understand why.
And while something as complex as comfort at the dentist isn’t typically decided by one thing, there may be a large factor at play you aren’t considering — Early dental checkups and regular exposure.
Early dental checkups typically don’t seem like the most pressing thing, and for some parents, they can fall by the wayside. Still, many don’t know that allowing your children to skip dental appointments early can have major consequences and create a negative attitude towards dentistry as a whole.
If this introduction has served as a reminder to schedule that early dental appointment, you can go ahead and do so here with South Charlotte Dentistry. South Charlotte Dentistry specializes in early care, cosmetic procedures, dental replacements, and more. With such a wide array of expertise, it’s clear how they’ve managed to serve the Charlotte area for years with an excellent track record.
The Importance of Early Dentistry Appointments
Building a healthy attitude towards dentistry is something that starts in preschool, so missing early appointments can have a real negative effect. All studies point to lack of exposure as one of the main drivers behind dental anxiety.
Familiarity with your dentist and hygienists can create positive experiences that can continue to be reinforced.
It quite literally lays the foundation for a lifetime of good dental health and relationships with dentistry.
Not to mention that early dentistry appointments can catch major dental problems before they worsen, keeping your child healthy with a great smile. Early preventative dentistry can not only stop issues before they grow, but it can also save you money. You can read more about its many benefits on South Charlotte’s blog page here.
COVID and Lack of Appointments
Often, people don’t just miss their dental appointments, or decide not to schedule them for no good reason. Things like school, work, and transportation can all make it tempting to forgo scheduling those early appointments. Still, there’s another recent barrier to scheduling early dental appointments — the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 applied pressure on dentists and patients alike, with a third of parents reporting that COVID made it much more difficult to access dental care for their children. Some dental offices were forced to close or heavily reduce the services they could provide, even when studies showed that rates of COVID infections from dental offices were very low. This lack of service meant that even the parents who were still scheduling appointments faced long wait times and some even were unable to book an appointment at all.
Even more concerning, the rates of people scheduling dental appointments plummeted, which resulted in a sharp increase in dental anxiety and dental problems due to a lack of preventative care.
Developing the habit of going to your dentist has a huge impact, so the two years people went without having appointments had a similarly significant effect on their attitude towards dentistry. And you may be thinking to yourself, “So what if I or my child develops a less than positive attitude towards going to the dentist, we’ll go when we need to.” you may not know how a negative relationship with dentistry leads to more than just discomfort
The Alternatives To Dental Positivity – More Negative Than You Think
Here are just a few possibilities when you develop a negative relationship with dental appointments —
Sedation DDS: Sedation dentistry seeks to sedate you in order to avoid discomfort or intense anxiety. While it can serve as a necessary tool for giving people who would otherwise go without treatment the healthcare they need, it can be more expensive and burdensome to find a dentist that fits your needs. It also requires overall more preparation and likely will serve as an obstacle if you’re planning on scheduling a dental appointment in the middle of the day.
Poor Checkup Consistency: Spending a significant amount of time out of the dentist’s office makes that feel like normal. This means that in the future you are less likely to schedule appointments and checkups which can have some adverse effects on your dental health. This impact is even more pronounced when you realize that children who visit the dentist early are much more likely to continually see the dentist throughout their lives.
Resistance To Dental Appliances: An aversion to dentistry doesn’t stay at the dentist’s office, it can impact your home routines too. Children who have discomfort with dental care are more likely to resist dental applications like home guards and retainers, leaving many parents with their hands tied.
So whatever impact you may be looking at, the benefits of going to the dentist early and often go a long way.
A Dentist’s Role In Building Comfort
When it comes to being comfortable at the dentist, exposure and frequency play a big part, there’s no doubt about it. However, having a dentist that’s committed to making you feel comfortable can be equally important.
When it comes to comfort, you ideally want a dentist that is doing these three major things.
- Respect any of your anxieties or fears – Experiencing something new can be a challenge, whether it’s your child’s first ever dental visit, or your first time back in the dental chair after a good chunk of time, it’s natural to feel uncomfortable. Having a dentist that understands that can make a huge difference. It brings a level of patience and empathy to any procedure that’s likely to build some comfort.
- Good communication – Procedures can be discomforting but they’re even worse when you’re unsure of what’s going on. You want a dentist who explains their process, what the procedure or visit will be like, and is willing to answer questions clearly. Knowing really is half the battle.
- Someone who treats every patient like family – While it may be a hard quality to measure, you’ll know it when it happens to you. Having a dentist that treats every patient like family is one of the key ways to build comfort and tackle any concerns that may come from lack of exposure.
Finding a dentist that employs all of these tactics and who’s extremely qualified can sometimes feel as difficult as sitting in the dental chair itself. However, there’s a bit of good news — South Charlotte Dentistry is the dentist’s office for comfort.
In the South Charlotte area, they’ve built a base of patients who not only have no problem or anxieties around scheduling appointments — their patients are actually comfortable at the dentist! And, in an attempt to invite more people to join the South Charlotte Dentistry family, they have a new patient special for only $99! This includes exams and full x-rays.
They also have experience serving patients of all ages, meaning they’re a great choice for a first-time visit for your children and an excellent choice for parents who’ve gone without regular appointments.
So, don’t hesitate and begin to build comfort and exposure to the dentist as soon as possible, and since regular appointments are the way to do that, make sure you’re regularly going to a dentist you love — choose South Charlotte Dentistry and book an appointment today.