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Is It Okay To Go To The Dentist?

When it comes to going to the dentist, I am conflicted and confused, so hope people who happen to come across this post will weigh in their thoughts on the matter.

I am months late for my dental cleaning, and recently I started to feel panicked knowing I was so behind, so I scheduled an appointment last week for Thursday. Then I spent the weekend going back and forth in my mind whether or not that going to the dentist is the right choice. When I woke up today I received the appointment confirmation notice, and some panic set in not knowing what was the best thing to do. Should I confirm or cancel or wait to see how I feel and deal with it later? I Googled, “Is it ok to go to the dentist?” and there were so many articles listed and opinions on the matter that I found myself even more confused. When I ask friends everyone has a different opinion which only makes it worse. One will brush off the pandemic like it’s not a big deal so of course you should go. The other is like heck no you wait. Another says if you’re not in pain than don’t go. Another says you’ll have pain down the line if you don’t stay on top of my oral hygiene. It’s maddening.

Then I read about a salon that opened and people became infected, but I don’t know the circumstances of that salon and  if people were wearing masks. Then I think doctors offices are probably the most sterile places on the planet, but they also see people from all walks of life that can be walking around asymptomatic.

I’ve always been anxious about going to any and all doctors appointments. I dread every singe one of them, and I only go if I absolutely have to, but now those lines have become blurred. When the shelter at home started three months ago, I was due for my gynecologist appointment and gladly cancelled. I was thrilled to have a legitimate excuse not to have to get my annual pap smear right away, however, now it is starting to weigh on me that I am months behind that doctors appointment, and now I am experiencing anxiety about being months behind my dental appointment too. But I don’t think I have any cavities so if there is not some pertinent problem why risk going right? Then I think, well, we’ve been informed there may be a second wave of this pandemic coming this fall with the flu season on the horizon, and so I should I try and squeeze all my doctors appointments in the next month or so, and roll the dice that that is the best decision given the circumstances?

Here I am thinking I could take a break from the anxiety I always have going to the doctor, and now the anxiety enters an entire other realm. I can’t use the social distancing, mask wearing, and stay at home measures as an excuse not to take care of my medical needs, but where do we draw the line as to when it is okay to go to the dentist?

For now I have made the decision to confirmed the appointment. I have a few days to ruminate on it and endure more stress over the whole scenario. I even tried to call them this morning to see their thoughts on the matter, but it’s not like they are going to say it’s not safe to come to their offices. Turns out they are closed on Mondays, so I wasn’t able to speak to anyone anyway. Is that a sign that I should just suck it up and take the damn appointment already, or that I should cancel and wait until I have some clarity on the matter?

I don’t think there is a simple answer or solution to this quagmire, and hope if anyone has any information, or advice, please post it in the comment section. We all have to go to the dentist at some point. Is putting it off a year or so going to cause more harm than good? Maybe, but I don’t know. The uncertainty of the times once again only makes us have to make decisions that are best fit for our personal needs, yet, knowing those needs is not always so clear.

Is It Okay To Go To The Dentist?


Erica Loberg

Erica Loberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She attended Columbia University in New York and graduated with a BA in English. She is a published poet and author of Inside the Insane, Screaming at the Void, What Men Should Know About Women, What Women Should Know About Men, Diamonds From The Rough , Undressed, and I'm Not Playing.


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APA Reference
Loberg, E. (2020). Is It Okay To Go To The Dentist?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 8, 2020, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/manic-depression/2020/06/08/is-it-okay-to-go-to-the-dentist/

 

Last updated: 10 Jun 2020
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