Top 6 Reasons People Avoid the Dentist
A visit to the dental office is not on anyone’s list of fun adventures, but many people still go to their yearly check-ups or, at least, make appointments when they have a toothache or other concern. Those who put it off or never go at all invite serious oral health issues and gum disease. To understand the problem and overcome it, learn more about the six main reasons people avoid the dentist.
2 Emotional Reasons People Avoid the Dentist
The main emotional reasons why people do not make those important appointments both have to do with fear. A study done by Colgate found that up to 15% of Americans fear dental offices and dental work. The fear comes from different things, however.
- Fear of dental work itself and potential pain or discomfort is quite common. No one enjoys the poking and prodding, scraping, or drill work. People report being afraid of the sound and smell of the drill operating, the sharp tools used to both check and clean teeth, the needle if novocaine or other numbing agents need to be used, and other tools and materials used during regular visits.
- Others have an anxious reaction to the vulnerable position necessary to access their teeth. A serious dental phobia can be triggered by the sights and sounds of the office even before the patient gets the paper bib clipped on. Some of this may occur due to painful or frightening visits to the dentist in the past. These fears linger and come back again and again.
2 Lifestyle Reasons People Avoid the Dentist
Even if a person is not afraid of the dentist, other factors may work against them visiting when they need to. Sometimes, the reasons people avoid the dentist are simply a matter of life getting in the way.
- Time and availability is one such factor. People lead very busy lives these days with long work hours, their kids’ activities and sports, and other responsibilities. First, they need to find a dentist that operates in the evening or weekend, then they have to find an open slot in their schedule to make the appointment.
- Out of sight, out of mind. For those who do not have throbbing pain in their mouth or unsightly stains or chips on their teeth, the dentist does not come into their mind on a regular basis. Simple forgetfulness or laziness in making sure they remember regular appointments affects the avoidance factor as well.
2 Financial Reasons People Avoid the Dentist
Dental care is expensive and some insurance companies or policies do not cover everything. Finding room in the budget for a visit to the dentist can be a real problem.
- Dental care procedures cost a lot of money. Even a basic cleaning can run from around $75 to $200. New patient consultations tack $25 to $100 onto the bill. Xrays, tartar treatments, and other treatments put the non-insured costs out of many family’s reach. Someone who has extensive problems and knows they need multiple teeth drilled for a root canal, pulled out, or otherwise fixed may not have enough money to get it done at all.
- Insurance policies may cover dental procedures that are part of the general checkup schedule, but anything extra will incur costs. A cleaning may be free but a patient will still need to pay 50% to 80% of procedures like root canals and wisdom tooth removal.
The top 6 reasons people avoid the dentist are as varied as the reasons for making an appointment in the first place. While most can find time in a busy schedule, things like financial difficulty and dental phobia are more difficult to overcome.