If you know someone who has avoided a dental visit, or if you’ve avoided the dentist yourself, you are 100% completely normal. Avoiding the dentist is super common! In fact, roughly half of the US adult population will avoid the dentist this year. And yet studies show that consistent preventive dental health checks are one of the most important things you can do to protect your oral and overall health.
Why do people avoid the dentist?
Here are seven of the most common reasons patients typically give for avoiding the dentist. We’ll help neutralize these common fears with some refreshing truth about today’s dentistry.
- Fear of the Lecture: Amen! We hate lectures. Who doesn’t? So we don’t dish them out. In our experience, you are an adult and you probably know you should visit the dentist on a regular basis. Hearing “tsk-tsk” from a dental hygienist or dentist doesn’t help. It just adds to your discomfort. If you’ve taken a “vacation” from the dentist, we welcome you back with our No Lecture Guarantee. This is our promise that we’ll treat you the way we want to be treated, with gentleness, understanding, respect…. And No Lectures!
- Dental anxiety: Wow, this is super common. So many of us have had bad experiences as a child or just plain dislike someone poking around in our mouths. Some dentists, including First Choice Dental, offer options that help alleviate dental anxiety.
- Free consultations: This is a simple visit to get to know your dentist, see the office, talk a little bit about what’s bothering you, ask questions before you decide whether this is the dentist for you.
- Laser dentistry: In cases where we’re able to treat an issue early on, laser dentistry can make for drill-free, pain-free, anxiety-free appointments. No drill. No shot. This helps alleviate a lot of anxiety for many of our patients.
- Sedation Dentistry: Here at First Choice Dental, we offer sedation dentistry for those who suffer from severe dental anxiety. This allows patients to have significant amounts of dental work done in one visit, with little or no memory of the procedure. Click here for more info.
- Cost: A recent survey found 44% of people were not visiting the dentist because they don’t have dental insurance. Sadly, though, avoiding the dentist now can drive costs up later, when the care you need may be more extensive and expensive. Among preventive health checks you can have to protect your overall health, dental visits are one of the most affordable. And we’ve found that patients who see us regularly, spend less per year because they prevent problems. Some dentists, like First Choice Dental, also offer savings when you pay with cash or check, to help make things a bit more affordable.
- Fear of needing dental work: No one likes bad news. But this fear can be a vicious circle when patients stay away longer because they don’t want to hear bad news, and end up with problems that get worse over time. The best dentists will help you prioritize the issues that need attention first, and work with you to create a treatment plan that you’re comfortable with and helps you get back to good dental health.
- Fear of the instruments, sounds, smells: Many dentists offer amenities like TV, music, warm blankets or other comforts that can distract you from the usual dental environment, and make you more comfortable. In some cases, sedation dentistry can also be helpful for those whose fear of the dental environment itself prevents them from getting the care they need.
- Bad memories: Good news folks. Today’s dentistry isn’t at all like what you remember as a kid. A LOT has changed. Many people still have an image of a trip to the dentist that’s the one they experienced in childhood. We hear horror stories from patients who are pleasantly surprised to find out that today’s dentistry is gentle, comfortable, and relatively uneventful. What a relief!
- Just too busy: Yup, we get it. We know you are super busy, running in a million different directions. We can’t remove meetings and other commitments from your schedule, but we can make it easier to fit dental health into your life, with online appointments, text reminders and more. And for busy families, we offer Family Scheduling so you can all be seen at the same time or close to it to keep your office visit as speedy as possible. We have many patients who find that their best bet is to schedule their next visit before they leave our office, so then they can mentally check it off their list, and let email and text reminders to the work for them.
Overall, many of the things that may have been keeping you from the dentist might not be all that scary after all. And taking good care of your smile is prime motivation for picking up that heavy phone or going online and scheduling that much-needed appointment today.