March 4, 2022
Your brother recently admitted that he hasn’t been to the dentist in three years when you were over at his house. When you asked him why, all he had to say was he forgets to make an appointment. That seems like a pretty iffy excuse, and you start to wonder what reasons other people give for no dental visits. Keep reading to learn from your dentist in Freedom some reasons for dental fear and why it’s a common problem.
What Are Reasons People Often Give for Avoiding the Dentist?
There are probably hundreds of reasons people might give, but here are five pretty common ones:
- 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.
- 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 treatment or maybe they don’t have any and have not checked on potential alternatives.
Why Is the Dentist not a Person to be Feared?
- 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 preventive dentistry exam, it’s not going to take up your whole afternoon. Having your vehicle serviced will usually take longer than maintenance for your mouth.
- 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.
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 Authors
Dr. Robert Heil earned his dental doctorate from the University of Minnesota. In 2009, he joined forces with his wife, Dr. Heather Heil, in a shared office. She also attended the University of Minnesota to earn her dental degree. If you have some degree of dental fear you are striving to overcome, both of these dentists value building relationships with their patients, so they’ll be happy to talk through all of your hesitancy. You can schedule an appointment on their website or by calling (920) 788-6280.
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