1) Fear: According to the American Psychological Association, "fear of the dentist" consistently ranks in the top tier of people's biggest fears. For many reasons, a lot of people just do not like coming to the dentist out of fear. And I get this a lot. Usually this is a deep-seated fear from a painful / bad experience when the patient was younger. The best way to start "rehabbing" your way psychologically back into dental care is to find a dentist you are comfortable with. Communication is KEY to help patients overcome their anxieties. But if the idea of dental offices still scare the bejeezus out of you, talk with the dentist about what sedation options they can offer you. Better living through pharmaceuticals! Plus it allows you to get the proper care without reinforcing any kind of mental trauma you've had in the past. AND, subconsciously it allows you to know that you can get dental treatment done without it being so horrible and then you can slowly tread into getting dental work done without being sedated. I've been very successful in re-introducing patients back into the dental world.
2) Money: Dentistry can get expensive..everyone knows this. People avoid going to the dentist because they think that even the basic check-ups and cleanings are too expensive. Or they feel like they have a lot of damage from past neglect and that it's just going to be too overwhelming to get the proper treatment.
The solution is payment plans. Very few people have hundreds or thousands of dollars free that they can just plop down for any kind of non-budgeted things. But waiting to get dental work done is not a good idea and gets even more expensive down the road. But breaking up any kind of big payment into smaller chunks is something most people can do. We can break down the payments over 12,24,36 months so that it's not such a burden to your cash flow.
3) Lack of insurance: There is a misconception that if you don't have insurance, you can't see a dentist. Or that paying out of pocket for dental visits if not covered by insurance is not worth it. But think about this. Do you get your oil changed? Auto insurance doesn't cover that. Do you belong to a gym? Health insurance doesn't cover that. Do you buy new shoes? There is no such thing as shoe insurance. But we do those things anyway b/c we know that they are good for us and that maintenance is a good thing. so why not see a dentist? Usually, the paying out of pocket for check-ups and cleanings is the same or even CHEAPER than having dental insurance anyways. So don't let the insurance companies dictate what you can or cannot do for your own dental health!
4) Shame: This is one I get a lot too. A person hasn't seen the dentist because it's been a while (relative term) and they feel like they have bad teeth and that the dentist or the staff will judge them and shame them for being away for so long or for having "bad teeth". Look, if I did everything like I was supposed to when I was supposed to and never made any mistakes, then sure, I would be a bit judgy. But no one ALWAYS does what they are supposed to when they are supposed to. So why throw stones? I have no idea what situation in your life has led you down this dental road. But what matters is that you, as a patient, are here, now, in the chair. You get a lot of points just for showing up. So let's just take what we have (which is usually MUCH better than what the patient thinks it is) and move forward to get you healthy.
5) "But nothing hurts": Just because something isn't bothering you doesn't mean that everything is healthy. High blood pressure or high cholesterol doesn't hurt until you have a heart attack. Sometimes, patients just don't go in b/c their teeth and gums feel ok. And that may be the case. But why wait until you have the heart attack until you check your blood pressure?
Your Friendly Glendale Dentist is Here!
If ANY of these sound like you, then I encourage to give me a call at the office. I'm always available to you and I will move mountains to make appointments, treatments and payments as easy and pain-free as possible!!