Why do people avoid dental treatment or fear the dentist?
I am pretty sure that most people have heard of the age old saying " A Stitch In Time Saves Nine." In the years that I have been practicing dentistry, I have seen a lot of treatment avoidance on the part of patients, even for simple things like a small filling.
Patients often think - if it does not hurt, why do I need to get anything done?
People seem to be okay going to salons, or buying that extra accessory for their car, or even getting that tattoo that they have been wanting to get. But when it comes to getting that filling or crown which was recommended to them, they seem to have issues getting it done.
Part of it seems like people seem to prioritize OTHER things over dental treatment when they can afford it.
What are the reasons for this?
I would say, dentists have a small part to play in this. Quite a few dentists will tell the patient WHAt they need done, but will NOT explain WHY they need to get it done. And therefore, the lack of adequate knowledge also leads to delayed treatments.
What most people DON'T know, is that toothache is a sign of late tooth disease. Teeth, unfortunately, only hurt when the cavity has reached a point when just a simple filling will not help anymore. At this point, patients face either losing the tooth, or shelling out about 10-20 times as much, than it would have cost for a simple filling, to try and save it. Most times, this is not only expensive but also entails a more painful procedure for the patient.
I agree, dentistry is not the most fun for patients, but I feel that most of this dental phobia can be avoided if patients get their recommended treatment done on time. It is when patients come to dentists with pain/ swelling, its harder on dentists to treat the condition painlessly and thus, people come to associate dentstry with PAIN.
Most dentists try their best to try and make procedures AS PAINLESS AS THEY CAN for patients.
If you have been diagnosed with cavities, please make it a point to get the recommended treatment done as soon as possible to avoid major dental issues. Try to see a dentist once every 6 months to get your teeth checked.
If you have dental phobia, talk to your dentist about different anxiety management techniques to make your dental visit easier. If you have little children, don't wait till they complain of pain to take them to the dentist. All this will do is cause your child to be scared of the dentist, than to see the dentist as someone, who is trying to help them take care of their teeth and raise individuals who see dentists as their friends.
If you have not seen a dentist in some time, NOW is the time to call us !!!