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Why Do People Avoid the Dentist? Could These Issues Be Destroying Your Oral Health?

March 7, 2015

Filed under: General Dentistry — Tags: — pontevedra @ 9:38 pm

At Ponte Vedra Complete Dentistry, we are dedicated to providing dental and oral health education to all within reach. Our blog posts are a venue for these educational services. In addition, Dr. Townsend and Dr. Harth attempt to provide the best possible dental treatment to all of the patients from Ponte Vedra and surrounding communities. This blog post attempts to consider both of these things together and address a challenging subject-why people avoid the dentist.

Why is this important to discuss?

First, lets view a few statistics. According to the CDC, the percentage of adults with untreated dental caries (cavities) in the US is 23.7%. This is active disease in the mouth. Seven percent of Americans reported having no teeth at all. Around half of Americans have some form of periodontal disease (gingivitis or periodontitis). All of this said, only 44% of Americans report visiting the dentist within the last 6 months.

Is it normal to be embarrassed of your mouth?

This is unfortunately one of the reasons that people avoid the dentist. If you are in this situation we would like to make it abundantly clear that you are not alone and that we understand. Many people are hesitant to open their mouth for one reason or another. Very often neglecting oral health results in a mouth full of cavities, discolorations, misaligned teeth, and gum disease. This can lead to embarrassment and a reluctance to begin treatment. Consider this, whatever has lead to the current situation is in the past. What is in the future is what can be managed. Your dentist understands, has seen it many times before, and has always seen worse.

Time and investment

Many people avoid the dentist due to the time or financial investment associated with dental visits. This is certainly understandable. Our lives are very busy and there are many things that compete for our attention and finances. Many people can take a vacation from the dentist with no adverse results. Others, however, find out too late that neglect of oral health leads to large problems. Often neglecting oral health can result in significant increases in time and money spent to return to a healthy baseline. A routine cleaning and exam does not compare in sacrifice to crowns, bridges, or dentures.

The Needle

This is one of the major roadblocks to proper treatment that we deal with in dentistry. The fear of being anesthetized is real and should be discussed. Your dentist does not want to inflict pain. Actually it is quite the opposite. Anesthetic is a vital part of dentistry and many treatments cannot be realistically provided without anesthesia. Many people have had a bad experience or heard scary stories about this part of dentistry.

It is important to note that pain free dentistry and anesthesia is a segment of dentistry that many dentists have spent significant amounts of time and effort in the search for perfection. Dr. Harth and Dr. Townsend take all measures to ensure that patients have a comfortable experience. Nearly every day patients are pleasantly surprised to find that their fears were unfounded and this is not a situation to dread.

One final word of encouragement – if you have any of the concerns discussed above or if you have other concerns that are preventing you from obtaining optimal oral health, we encourage you to discuss them with your dentist. You may be surprised to find that your feelings are not out of the ordinary and you are not alone.

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