Not everyone has a regular dentist, someone who they’ve developed a level of trust with and an ongoing relationship where they can feel confident that their teeth are in good hands.
If you’re one of those people, possibly because you’ve grown up and moved away from the area where visiting your childhood dentist was convenient and comfortable, what do you do?
For too many people, not having an existing relationship with a dentist they can trust means two things:
- not scheduling regular dental check-ups (in some cases neglecting them for years), and
- suffering for far too long when they have a toothache or any dental issue.
What’s stopping you?
Over nearly 20 years, we’ve asked a lot of people who have stayed away from the dentist for too long. What has stopped them either making more regular visits to a dentist they know or locating and choosing a dentist, if they need to find one?
There have been a wide range of responses but in general, they fall into three categories.
1.An aversion to dentists
Every dentist has heard this one. You only need to have one ‘bad’ experience – perhaps where a visit to the dentist didn’t go as expected, or a dental issue wasn’t easily resolved – to start thinking that perhaps visiting the dentist isn’t such a good idea, after all.
Once you start to associate going to the dentist with a stressful, possibly upsetting experience, it’s all too easy for your senses to be heightened to the point where some people feel physically ill when they’re hit with the ‘clean smell’ of the dental clinic.
Then the anxiety really kicks in, which means your innate survival instinct starts telling you that it’s actually a good idea to stay away from those horrible places called dental clinics!
2.An aversion to pain
Everyone has an aversion to pain. That’s just a human trait (although, of course, some are more sensitive than others, while some have a higher pain threshold).
We completely understand that having someone poking around in your mouth – even without doing any work – is a little uncomfortable, let alone if you do need a filling or other treatment.
However, we also know that most people anticipate that a visit to the dentist will be painful when the truth is – it hardly ever is. How do we know this? Because the majority of our patients make a comment along the lines of “that wasn’t as bad as I expected” as soon as we’re done.
And we can let you in on a little secret: not visiting the dentist regularly is invariably far more painful. Not looking after your oral health leads to issues with your teeth and gums that make it painful to eat and often need far more invasive procedures to resolve.
3. An aversion to big bills
Because most people who fall into the category we’re discussing – the ‘don’t visit the dentist anywhere near regularly’ group – have historically gone to a dentist when there’s something really wrong and causing them serious issues, they’ve mostly needed a bit of work across several visits to resolve their issues (and there usually is more than one).
As a result, their previous experiences have ended up costing them far more than the average person, so they naturally associate going to the dentist with forking out a bit of money.
Having said that, how much it costs to go to the dentist is an unknown for most people, even those with dental benefits as part of their private health cover. It’s no surprise that some people are worried about getting a big bill when money is already tight.
What can we do about it?
By understanding the things that put people off going to the dentist regularly, we’re already on the way to doing something about it.
While we can’t guarantee that you won’t feel pain, experience anxiety, or suffer any ‘bill shock’, we are able to do our very best to reduce the chances of any of those things happening.
- Our staff are trained to make patients feel comfortable from the moment they walk in;
- We’re happy to offer oral care advice at any time;
- We always explain any proposed treatment fully;
- We provide flexibility with appointments (for example scheduling parents and children so they can be seen one after the other to save multiple trips);
- We’re fully equipped to do all treatments (including x-rays, when necessary) on site;
- We’re able to provide indicative costings in advance.
With our 19 years of experience in the local community at Koo Wee Rup and the surrounding area, we are fully committed to encouraging everyone to have regular check-ups. And more importantly, to making all of our services as simple and painless – in terms of physical discomfort, stress and effort, and your hip pocket – as possible.
In short, we want what’s best for you. So give us the chance to ‘convert’ you into a regular visitor at the Koo Wee Rup Dental Surgery.
We look forward to making you comfortable.