Hating dentists comes naturally to many people. Some people hate dentists because they are Dentists, some think dentists are meant to be hated. A few hate them because others do so. But, an important aspect of this is why people hate the dentist. Being a dentist, I’m not gonna take the route of disagreeing with this and brand these people as
phobic. There are genuine reasons for people to hate or be afraid of the dentist. Over the past month, I have asked a lot of people-online and offline for the exact reason why they hate the dentist. Now, I am accumulating the most common reasons and what I(as a dentist) think about them.
1. The Dentist’s attitude
Plenty of people hate the dentist for seemingly having a “mean” attitude. They are not friendly towards you. They
give instructions with harsh voices and make you feel like a child. They tend to get under your skin with their arrogant attitude. When you complain of pain and discomfort, they disregard that and say you won’t be feeling any pain.
Sane Dentist says: I agree with the patient on this part. Dentists should have a nice and soft attitude towards the patient especially considering that most of them are anxious. Patients should be comforted and informed in detail regarding the procedure that is being done.Dentist’s tend to do this because some of them get irritated by some stubborn patients while some don’t see the reason to be afraid and get irritated when patients do not co-operate. These are no excuses though for the dentist to have a haughty attitude towards the dentist.
2. The drill
The drill instills fear in a lot of patients. The sheer sound of it is something similar to a drill machine and letting some one put that thing in your mouth is not in your comfort zone.
Sane Dentist says: There is not much a dentist could do if you are afraid of the conventional drill. You could opt to go for sedation dentistry or sleep dentistry as it is popularly known as. Sleep dentists use Intra oral or IV drugs to induce a relaxed state in a patient. If you have genuine reservations against the drill and do not want it used in your mouth, Laser dentistry and air abrasion dentistry are the latest fads in dental health.
Laser dentistry employs the use of laser instead of the conventional drill. Air abrasion or drill-less dentistry which does not cause vibration,sound,pressure or heat is also an option. Note that all dentists do not provide these services. They have to be trained for using these methods. Ask your dentist to clarify if he provides these services.
3. The clinic
Many people have found shortcomings with the clinic itself. They don’t like the look of it, or the sight of dental chair/instruments makes them feel nervous. A few people said they hate the smell of the dentist’s office.
Sane Dentist says: Well, you can’t change the dentist’s office in a significant way. Going more often to dental clinics may be just what you need to get rid of this apprehension. On the other hand, I have been to some clinics where the dentist takes a significant effort to make the clinic more comfortable. They do this by removing all dental pictures/charts from the office, playing soft music,good fragrance and making it more hospitable.
Pain is a significant genuine reason for a person to be afraid of the dentist. You might have never undergone a dental procedure, but hearing all those horror stories of pain can make you hate the dentist. You could also have a previous horror encounter with the dentist and hate them after that.
Sane Dentist says: Horror stories are present in any field. If 10,000 cars are on the road and one of them has an accident, every body starts talking about the accident.Nobody talks about the 9999 cars that traveled safely. Similarly, horror stories at the dental clinic doing the the fact that most of people are getting dental procedures done with out any problem. You should not get affected by such stories some of which are partly fiction. If you had a previous painful encounter, ask the dentist more about it. Seek his clarification on the issue. Honestly, some of these might be the fault of the dentist while some are not. Hence, it’s best to go for dentists with good credentials,experience and reputation.
5. The lesson
Preachy dentists can be quite a pain too. They ask you how you have been doing with your dental hygiene and immediately start scrutinizing you if you haven’t been good. They scold you for your bad habits and give you “the lesson”.
Sane Dentist says: Some dentists think that the only way they could get people to inculcate good dental habits is through hard talk. May be, its not the best approach as many people are likely not to listen.But, it does help a few people. You should change your attitude towards the dentist for this. Understand that he/she is trying to help you. I also do agree that some dentists can be overly repetitive and annoying in the way they go about “the lesson.”
What have your experiences been like with your dentist. What’s the reason for your apprehension/hatred/fear of the dentist?
I only mentioned the most common ones. I would love to hear more from readers on their specific issues and glad to answer any queries.