Fear, horror and fright expresses little girl in dental clinic

5 Reasons You Might Be Avoiding the Dentist

Why are you avoiding going to the dentist?

Whether the idea of sitting in the chair sends chills down your spine or you’re holding off due to the cost, everyone has their own reasons for avoiding routine appointments. But your reluctance to make that appointment is costing you money, your peace of mind, and possibly even your overall health.

There are five objections we hear regularly. Which one applies to you?

“I’m afraid of the dentist”

It’s amazing how a single negative experience taints your future encounters. If you get a bad burrito at your favourite restaurant or a terrible haircut, you’re probably not going to go back to those places. But does that mean you’d stop getting burritos or haircuts altogether? No, you’d find a new place or do everything in your power to ensure that you don’t have another negative experience.

Dentistry is the same way.

You’ve probably been avoiding making appointments (no matter how much they’re needed) because either you’ve personally had a bad experience or you know someone who has.

When done right, treatment shouldn’t be nightmare inducing. You can get the results you need with the right freezing, which can now be given in a more comfortable way. If you’re uncomfortable at any point, speak to your dentist right away so that they can mitigate that discomfort. Remember that there is no medal for bravery, so the onus is on you to speak up for yourself.

“The sound of dental tools makes me anxious”

Knowing that there are tools in your mouth is enough to make anyone anxious. When you can hear the tools, it’s a whole different level of anxiety.

Luckily, modern dentistry has evolved to be more comfortable, and that includes quieter and less jarring tools. Many lasers sound like popcorn popping and it feels like something is lightly tapping your tooth.

While your dentist likely can’t do anything about the dental drill used for removing old silver fillings and preparing your teeth for crowns, you can bring along your favourite music playlist and either use your own headphones/earbuds or ask your dentist if they have noise-cancellation headphones that you can borrow for the duration of your treatment.

“I can’t afford the dentist”

It’s no secret that dental work can hit your wallet where it hurts. But the cost rises the longer you postpone routine dental care.

Think of it like having a car. Would you rather spend smaller amounts of money over time for regular maintenance or have to shell out a huge sum of your hard-earned cash all at once when your car breaks down because you ignored the check engine light?

When it comes to your teeth, it’s better to visit the dentist regularly so they can catch problems before they become bigger. Issues like decay and gum disease are usually painless and can go undetected until it’s too late. Visiting your dentist allows them to catch these problems before they become painful. The longer you leave the disease, the bigger (and more financially damaging) it becomes.

If you’re lucky enough to have dental coverage, you should take advantage of it as much as possible. If you don’t have coverage, there are great financing options like Dental Card available.

“I can never get an appointment”

You have a busy life.

Kids have to get to school and extracurriculars, you have to work and come home to make dinner, and somewhere in between all of the madness, you’re supposed to have time for yourself. When you do have a rare second for yourself, the last thing you want to do is spend it at the dentist.

Consider scheduling your appointments before your work day or during your lunch hour. If it’s a routine visit, you only have to schedule them 2-4 times a year, meaning your schedule won’t be disrupted regularly.

Your dentist will always try their best to be on time, but the industry is unpredictable, and sometimes procedures take a little longer than usual. The one thing to keep in mind is that the longer you leave a problem, either because you don’t want to treat it or because you don’t know about it, the longer it may take to fix the problem. The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially true in dentistry.

“I always leave my appointments with more questions than answers”

It can be easy to feel like your dentist and their team are speaking a different language when they’re working on your teeth. If you want clarification on something, all you have to do is ask. It doesn’t matter if they’re going over an upcoming procedure or they’re in the middle of one. You should always be in control of your health, and that includes understanding everything that is happening.

If your dentist is reluctant to answer your questions or they sidestep them, it may be time to consider switching dentists.

Dr. Andrea Stevens and her team are here to happily answer any of your questions and put your mind at ease about any worries you may have about visiting the dentist.

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