Three Ways To Pass The Time While Waiting At The Dentist Office

Dentists are busy professionals, therefore patient wait times (even with an advance appointment) may be significant. But have you ever sat mindlessly in your dentist's waiting room, stressed, bored or otherwise unoccupied? Time spent in the dental office waiting room does not have to be boring and unproductive. Here are three worthwhile tasks for you to tackle as you wait to be examined:

1. Jot Down Questions for the Dentist, So You'll Have a List At Hand

It's often easy to forget important questions or concerns you may have regarding your dental visit. While sitting in the waiting, you should have time enough to compose a list of concerns or questions. Perhaps you have questions regarding procedures, medication interactions and side effects or cost and payment plans. Organize a short list so you will not forget to ask the dentist. If you don't have a pen and notepad handy, use your "to do" list on your smart phone.

2. Mellow Out and Rid Yourself of Nervous Tension

While it's common for some patients to feel a little nervous or anxious while waiting at the dentist office, why not use the wait time to de-stress? If you're relaxed and at ease in the dentist chair, your visit will be all the more pleasant for you and the dentist. Before those pre-exam nerves have you breaking a sweat, here are a few ways to chill out as you wait:

  • Whip out your e-reader (or traditional paperback book) and read something pleasurable: It might prove to be more relaxing than reading those medical journals that are provided in the waiting room.

  • Use your smart phone for fun: Listen to digital music (privately with your earbuds, of course), play a game on your phone or download some new apps.

  • Close your eyes and meditate: Visualize the most serene imagery and be momentarily transported to that "happy place." Maybe it's the memory of a barefoot walk on the beach, your baby's happy grin or the gentle sway of your backyard palmetto tree. Now breath deeply and enjoy the moment. Aren't you feeling more relaxed now?

3. Compose an Evaluation Checklist to Be Completed After the Appointment

Now it is time to come back down to reality and remember why you are here at the dentist's office in the first place. Obviously, it's for the good of your oral health. For your peace of mind, you'll want to be certain your dental practice maintains high standards in safety. For your evaluation, make a safety checklist and complete it after your visit. Write down the following questions and leave space to write your impressions:

  • Does the dentist put on new gloves upon entering the examination room? Equally important, if the dentist touches something other than sterile equipment, are those gloves changed? For your safety, the answer to both questions should be yes.

  • Is the examining room immaculately clean and tidy? If you notice dusty window shades or counter tops, or if papers or equipment appear disorganized, consider this a red flag. Dentists who are meticulous about safety and hygiene will not have a sloppy office or examining room.

  • Are instruments and the exam room itself sterilized between patients? If you are unsure, don't hesitate to ask your dentist. You might also inquire about the sterilization process and what it involves. Is there an autoclave validation certificate in the office? This form should be hanging on the wall or in clear view for patients to see. An autoclave is a holder that utilizes pressurized heat to disinfect and sterilize dental tools and equipment. The autoclave validation form states the practice adheres to the guidelines and protocol for safety.

As you can see, there are several ways for you to be productive as you wait your turn to be examined. Use your wait time wisely and enjoy a pleasant and successful dental visit. For more information or advice, contact a business such as Apollo Dental Center.