How to talk to your oral surgeon about your concerns

For many patients, the prospect of having oral surgery can make them feel nervous or anxious. One of the best ways to overcome your concerns is to talk to your oral surgeon about them. If your surgeon knows how you’re feeling, they will be in a much better position to help you.

Try to identify your trigger

Sometimes, anxiety over medical care is triggered by a certain aspect of the treatment process—a sensation, a word, or the discomfort of having someone in your personal space. The better you can pinpoint the exact moment your anxiety takes over, the better you can explain how you feel to your oral surgeon so you can work together to find a solution.

Ask about hand signals

Anesthetic and the feeling of losing control are common causes of surgical anxiety. Work out a few simple hand signals you can use to communicate with your surgeon during your treatment should you need a break or have a question. Knowing that you have a way to control the situation can calm your nerves.

Uncertainty about the unknown

If you’re the type of person who wants to know exactly what will happen next during your surgery, let your surgeon know. Different surgeons have different treatment styles and while some will describe every part of the procedure and explain what is coming next, others may engage in small talk as a distraction or concentrate and not say much at all. If you prefer a play-by-play, talk with your surgeon about it ahead of time.

Write down your questions

If you find that you get too nervous during your oral surgery consultation appointments to remember everything you wanted to ask, write down your concerns in advance and then jot down the answers.

Get to know your surgeon

Not all communication with your surgeon needs to be about your surgery. Sometimes having a friendly chat with your doctor to get to know each other can help build rapport and lower stress levels on the day of your surgery.