Your cousin happened to mention the other day that she hasn’t been to the dentist in four years. You were shocked to hear it and had to ask her why. When she responded that she just doesn’t think about it to make an appointment, that didn’t seem like a legitimate reason to you. She’s an adult who makes her own choices, but it got you thinking about others like her who never go in for an exam and cleaning. Some of these people must have dental fear and it’s just not something they want to admit. Keep reading to learn from your dentist in Denison some of the reasons this is all too common.
What Are Common Reasons People Give for Avoiding the Dentist?
There are probably a million reasons people might give, but here are five pretty common ones:
- Fear: “Dentophobia” is a real thing. It can have many causes. Maybe a person witnessed someone else who seemed to be in pain at the dentist or they have a general fear of sharp objects.
- Lack of Insurance: Someone may believe they simply cannot afford a dental visit. They might not think their insurance will cover a treatment or maybe they don’t have any and have not checked on potential alternatives.
- No Symptoms: A person might think they feel just fine and have no reason for an exam. There could be trouble ahead and they don’t see it coming. A cleaning is always important.
- Forgetfulness: Someone will say they always forget to make an appointment. A well-placed sticky note reminder could remedy that.
- Shame: If you haven’t been to the dentist in a long time and are dealing with bad breath and/or dental issues, embarrassment or concern about being judged may keep you away.
Why Is the Dentist to Be Cheered Instead of Feared?
- Treatments can be explained in advance. If you are worried about what happens in a cleaning and exam, ask the hygienist to walk you through the process before any work begins.
- Seeing the dentist as a real person can be helpful. A dentist is a person just like you with hobbies and favorite foods – not a mysterious figure behind a mask. Having a quick chat about non-dental topics can be comforting when you first meet them.
- Dental tools shouldn’t be feared. If you are concerned about the tools used during an exam, ask the hygienist to explain to you what each one is used for before the cleaning and exam begin.
- The average dental appointment lasts an hour or less. If you are scheduled for a cleaning and exam, it’s not going to take up your whole afternoon. Having your vehicle serviced will usually take longer than maintenance for your mouth.
Most people who don’t go to the dentist’s office probably believe their reasons for avoiding it are legitimate, but your teeth and gums won’t be interested in any excuses when plaque starts to take its toll. Making and following through on that one appointment could mean everything when it comes to you getting more comfortable and defeating dental fear!
About the Author
Dr. Ryan Bygness has been working hard for smiles in the Denison area for a quarter-century, and he always looks forward to meeting his next first-time patient. He earned his dental doctorate from the University of Iowa and has since attained his orthodontic certificate as well. Dr. Bygness is a member of the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. If it’s been too long since you’ve been to the dentist due to dental fear, check out the preventive dentistry page on his website to learn what it’s like to get a cleaning and exam. You can also schedule an appointment on his website or by calling (712) 263-3252, at which point you are encouraged to ask any questions you might have.