Managing Dental Anxiety: How to Choose the Best Appointment Times
If you suffer from dental anxiety, then you may be looking for ways to make your appointments less stressful. Sometimes, just waiting to see your dentist in a surgery full of people can make you more anxious. You can reduce your stress here by thinking about the times when you schedule your appointments. When are the best times to have a dentist checkup?
Get the First Appointment of the Day
If sitting in a waiting room full of people makes you more nervous about seeing your dentist, then booking the first appointment in a morning surgery may help. This gives you the following advantages:
- There will be fewer people about early in your dentist's schedule, and the waiting room will be less busy and more quiet.
- You'll reduce the time you have to wait to see your dentist. If you're the first person on your dentist's list, then you won't be kept waiting by previous patients whose appointments may have overrun.
- Booking an early morning appointment may also give you less time to get anxious about going to the dentist. You won't have the appointment hanging over you all day.
If your dentist closes the surgery over lunch, then booking the first appointment after the surgery reopens may also work as well as getting the first appointment of the day.
Tip: You may want to avoid booking general appointments early on Monday mornings. People who have had dental problems over the weekend may try to get emergency appointments on Mondays. Even if you are first in the appointment queue, you may get pushed back a little if your dentist has taken in a patient with an urgent problem.
Avoid Busy Periods
Your dentist's surgery will have times when it is busier than usual. It's a good idea to avoid these times when you make appointments. For example, try to avoid booking late afternoon appointments. Parents often take their children to these appointments after school; this will give you a busy and noisy waiting room and the potential for a longer wait if appointments drag on. Late evening and Saturday morning surgeries may also be busy—appointments at these times may be popular with people who work during the day.
Ask Your Dentist For Advice
While some times of the day are always busy for dentists, each surgery will have its own quieter periods. So, explain your worries to your dentist and ask for advice on the best times to book appointments. Telling your dentist that you have some worries is a good idea in itself, as your dentist can help you find ways to make your appointments less stressful.