Procedure Concerns That Are Totally Normal, We Promise!

Procedure Concerns That Are Totally Normal, We Promise!

Let’s be honest, going to the dentist is nobody’s favorite thing, but we all know how important it is to keeping our smile at it’s healthiest. Even as an adult there are various dental procedures that can leave us feeling a little nervous. These nerves are totally normal and hopefully by understanding them a little better you’ll be able to relax next time you visit the dentist.

All the Tools

Even if you’re just visiting the dentist for a cleaning, there are still a number of tools that are used to keep those teeth looking their best. Before you sit down in your seat, you eye those tools wondering how they could possibly be so small, because when they are in your mouth it feels like they quadruple in size. This concern is completely justified, after all some of those tools are sharp and others sound like power tools. Rest easy knowing that the hygienist and dentist working on your teeth are more than qualified to use these tools properly. Furthermore, while these tools may look intimidating, they are all necessary to get your teeth as clean as possible.

That’s Been in Someone Else’s Mouth

Even if you’re generally not too concerned about germs, I’m sure it’s crossed your mind how well all those dental instruments have been cleaned. Those tools have been in someone else’s mouth and unless you know how well they’ve been sterilized, that can leave you feeling very uneasy. Dental tools are separated into three different categories depending on their risk for transmitting disease.

  1. Critical– These are the instruments that have been in direct contact with the gums and bone and need to be sterilized after each patient. These tools are sterilized by autoclaving, which is steam under intense pressure, dry heat, or chemical vapor.
  2. Semi- Critical– These are all of the tools that never penetrated your teeth or gums but did have contact with your saliva. These also need to be either sterilized or disinfected with a registered Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sterilant after each use.
  3. Non-Critical– These instruments have little chance of transmitting infection as they are tools that only come in contact with the patient’s skin. These tools simply need to be cleaned with a hospital disinfectant after each patient’s use.

If germs are what’s making you nervous about visiting the dentist, knowing how well every tool is cleaned after each use should make you feel better about your next visit.

The Shot

No matter how old you are, everyone’s least favorite part about visiting the dentist is the numbing shot that you get before getting a cavity filled. Before your injection, you will be given a topical anesthetic to take away the painful pinch that comes from the injection of the needle. This needs to be left on for about a minute to work effectively. If you start to feel any pain, there is no need to be a hero! Tell your dentist of your discomfort! The last thing they want to do is cause you unnecessary pain.

Hopefully now that some of your fears have been dispelled, visiting the dentist can be something that you look forward to, after all who doesn’t love the feeling of freshly cleaned and polished teeth.

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