Q: Do you hate dentists? What bothers you the most about it?
If you are one of the majority of the UK population who feels this way, you may have valid reasons, but you probably do not actually hate dentists. It is just all the stuff that a dentist does that makes you wince – the drilling, filling and billing parts.
Who can blame you for that? The thought of a dental chair combines the sum of all fears .... pain, needles, doctors, confined spaces, loud noises,....
It is not a big surprise that most people hate going to a dentist!
Yet, dentists are not such bad people, we are just the people who do the work and have got stuck with the bad-guy label.
Here I have put together the top 10 reasons why people hate dentists
The fear of needles and injections in adults and children is HUGE and it is one of the main reasons for people opting not to seek dental treatment.
In certain circumstances, dentistry without anaesthetic may be an option. A lot of minimally invasive dentistry can be carried out comfortably without the need for being numbed. That is, of course, only an option when we can detect dental disease and intervene at an early stage. This is a good reason to make regular dental checkups part of your annual health routines.
However, adequate Pain Management is a must for more invasive dental treatment. Anything else is just barbaric. Administrating the Local Anaesthetic is often the defining moment in the entire patient – dentist relationship.
There are many ways to ensure that this experience is nowhere close to people’s fears. This could range from gentle technique as well as using topical anaesthetics to using equipment such as Dentovibe, the Wand or Calaject.
Being a little sneaky about it also helps. Nobody should have to look at it.
This was a contender for the top spot and is easily one of the most common reasons for people hating dentists.
Modern dentistry should be comfortable and easy.
Everyone hates pain and dental pain can be intense. That is the reason why people associate dentistry with pain.
Teeth are vulnerable and sensitive parts of our bodies and the threat of dental pain is very real. If you have felt jolts of pain during treatment, I have no doubt that you do not want to repeat that experience.
Anxiety is that vague, unpleasant apprehension that something bad will happen. Anxiety puts you on edge, compounds the ordeal and you’re left completely drained by it. Even if there isn’t any pain involved, it’s the threat of pain and other triggers of fear that build up the anxiety and make for a miserable experience.
Receiving dental treatments from someone whom you can trust can significantly reduce sensation of anxiety. So, ask friends, colleagues and family for recommendation. Unless you are in pain, the first visit should be just to assess your dental needs and when treatment is needed the dentist must allow you to remain in control.
If feelings of anxiety are difficult to control, sedation techniques can be very useful. For people who have uncontrollable anxiety we even have a clinical psychologist who can help with controlling these feelings.
Thankfully, the newer handpieces are much smoother and quieter than the bone rattlers of the yesteryears. Noise cancelling headphones can reduce the noise of the dentist drill and in cases where anxiety is excessive, sedation can play a helpful role.
In some cases, the drill can be substituted for alternatives such as Aquacare, which will make for much more pleasant experience.
Dentistry certainly does invade your personal space. We need to be right inside your mouth to do our work. Needless to say, if the dentist does not show the right respect, gentleness and grace, then the invasiveness of the procedure can be unbearable.
The Sounds & Smells
When you are anxious or fearful your senses are heightened and so the sounds and smells of the surrounding are amplified.
What is pocket change to one is an astronomical fee to another.
This can be a deal-breaker. Everyone appreciates exceptional care, but for some people, even basic dental care isn’t affordable. There are two issues here.
One is affordability. What is pocket change to one is an astronomical fee to another. People have their budget limitations and I certainly respect that. Sometimes “good enough” has to be the way when “the best” is not within reach.
The other issue is value. Not everyone places high value on their dental health. It can be a lot to spend if you need major work, and some people absolutely HATE spending hard-earned cash on dentistry. It makes them furious because they don’t get to spend it on stuff they like. Even if they have the money, they would rather be spending it on things that bring them more pleasure.
Personally, I look at general health and dental health as necessities. Staying healthy and keeping my teeth is a high priority. However, others have different priorities.
Money is one of the biggest sources of Dental Drama. Not being able to afford decent care can be very upsetting. This is why, should you need or want to, we have and provide facilities to ensure that all our services can be affordably financed.
If you already feel guilty or embarrassed about your situation, the last thing you want is reasons to feel worse. You don’t need to be scolded into submission, admonished like you’re a helpless child or assaulted by irrelevant factoids until your eyes glaze over.
Going to the dentist is stressful enough without the people who are supposed to help you piling on more guilt and blame. Who needs that? Why pay good money and be made to feel like a small child who’s getting scolded by her parents?
My approach to patients: Bombarding people with information shows professional knowledge, but demonstrates a selfish vie for attention and a disconnect from the relationship aspect. We are people taking care of people. I promised myself to never forget my humanity and to never compromise the bond I have with my patients by indulging in lectures or overplaying the SMART card.
What you want as a patient are solutions and positive emotional outcomes – to feel the security of good health and the confidence of looking and feeling your best. You need a fresh new start with the hope and promise of a better tomorrow. What you want from a dentist is leadership.
Here’s the bottom line: Find a dental team dedicated to making YOU healthy and happy instead of posturing to make themselves look more knowledgeable and superior. Never forget that you’re the boss, so tell them you prefer a NO LECTURES approach.
Everybody promises better service. When you step in the front door, you find out the truth. Do they have brand integrity and a great reputation, or is it just song and dance?
Indifference is the big relationship killer in healthcare. Every member of the team represents your brand, and any time one of them drops the ball on service, the magic you were trying to convey vanishes in a puff of smoke.
Here’s a secret. Where you find great service, you’re likely to find superior quality. They go hand in hand. It’s all about dedication to excellence, and that dedication extends to all aspects. Everything matters.
Look for prompt courteous care where you’re always treated with grace and respect. You want an uplifting experience in which you walk out healthier, happier and smiling more beautifully than when you walked in.
Your brain is wired for fear.
Did you have a bad childhood experience? Join the club, so many of us endured nightmare scenarios by today’s standards. It’s hard to let go of that. Every time you enter a dental practice it can feel like you’re reliving those earlier events.
Emotionally-intense memories are very powerful and long-lasting. Having a trusting relationship with your dentist goes a long way to help re-program those fearful memory pathways in your mind and help you finally to let go of that past.
If you’re looking for a new Dentist… If you don’t have a Dentist… or you’d simply like a 2nd opinion on your overall dental health you can call Stanhope Place Dental Practice to schedule a consultation. We will listen to your concerns and goals and (together) will try what solutions suits you the best. You can call us on 020 7724 7440 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.