What keeps people from going to the dentist (dental anxiety, cost of dental care, lack of time) could result in severe dental problems causing them to have to deal with that very thing in a bigger way.
One thing our dentist office specializes in is treating adults who have significant dental needs that have accumulated over time. In my experience, the patient avoids going to the dentist for months, or even years, until their problem is so bad it causes extreme pain or loss of dental function. Only then do they schedule an appointment to have their dental needs treated.
Why People Avoid Going to the Dentist?
Typically, there are three things that keep people from going to the dentist – time, money and fear. More often than not, patients who have significant dental needs fit into one of these categories.
Consider for a moment a young couple raising children, or someone working around the clock to start a business. In both scenarios, time is a commodity. Maybe these individuals kept up with their dental health before they got busy, but now they’ve had to reschedule several times and eventually cancel their appointment all together. Six months eventually becomes six years and their small filling has turned into a huge problem.
What started as an hour-long hygiene appointment will now take multiple appointments over several days to treat. Thus, requiring more time away from the patient’s family or business than it did at the start.
Cost of Dental Care
More often than time, people avoid going to the dentist because of the cost. Maybe they don’t want to spend the money on a cleaning, or think that because they don’t have dental insurance it will be too expensive. Again, the issues snowball and become much larger the longer they wait.
In this scenario, the patient’s goal of saving money by skipping a cleaning has actually cost them money in emergency dental care. A $250 problem that could have been discovered early during a routine cleaning will now cost them $2,500, or more. When caught early, dental work will also be less invasive and more predictable.
If you’re waiting until you have dental insurance to visit the dentist, read our blog on common myths about dental insurance. You may be surprised to find out it works much differently than health insurance.
Dental Anxiety – Fear of Dentist
The last barrier, and perhaps the most difficult to overcome, is fear. Dental anxiety – or fear of the dentist – is very common and can keep people from getting the treatment they desperately need. In my experience, these patients have been mistreated by their dentist in the past and have post-traumatic stress from a previous treatment. They wait until the pain is so great that they have no choice but to seek out care.
For these patients, sedation dentistry is the best way to overcome the fear of the dentist. In our office, we use a conscious oral sedation. Patients will be awake but very relaxed, and still able to respond to verbal commands.
Make Dental Care a Priority
Are one of these barriers keeping you from dental care? Remember, pain is not a good indicator of your dental health. In fact, most dental issues do not cause pain until they have become very severe. The longer you wait, the more severe your issue will become. It’s my goal to help patients get through their barriers to care and receive the dental treatment they need to keep their teeth until they are 100.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment and start taking steps toward regaining your dental health.