If you’re of a certain age you probably weren’t fortunate enough to enjoy the services of a dentist who specialized in working with children. Back then, kids sat in the same dental chair as their parents and were, for the most part, treated almost exactly the same as their parents.
As a result of this treatment, plenty of these children grew up with a lifelong fear of dentists that’s had a major, and very negative, effect on their overall dental health. While we heartily sympathize with anyone with a reluctance to visit the dentist that stems from bad experiences in childhood, we would also suggest that these folks take a fresh look at modern dentists.
Today’s dental professionals are a far cry from the stern men, and until the fairly recently they were almost all men, who worked on their teeth in the 1970’s. Modern dentistry puts a serious premium on patient comfort.
If fear is keeping you from visiting your dentist, here are three reasons for getting over it and moving on.
Procrastination Equal More Pain
Remember when your mom said, “The longer you put it off, the worse it’s going to be?” Well mom was right on that count. If you’ve been delaying treatment of serious dental problems, you’re only making things worse for yourself.
Just think about it this way – if your tooth that’s in need of root canal or fillings is giving you trouble today, do you honestly think that getting it repaired is going to hurt less a few months from now? In the same way that brushing and flossing can help prevent little problems from getting bigger, getting treatment for big problems right away makes the procedures a lot easier to endure.
To say that dental technology has advanced significantly over the past few decades is a bit of an understatement. In fact, a time travelling dentist from the 1970’s who found himself in a modern dentist’s office might not recognize most of the gear that his modern counterparts work with.
For patients, the march of technology on the dentist’s office amounts to a significantly more comfortable experience than what they endured in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
A really good example of this leap forward is laser periodontal treatment. In this case, laser light is used to scrape away accumulated plaque on the patient’s gums in lieu of manual scraping. For anyone with sensitive gums, which is practically everyone who visits the periodontist, this means the days of discomfort in the dentist chair are a thing of the past.
In short, today’s dentists inflict a loss pain than their predecessors and are diligently working to keep their patients as comfortable as possible.
They’ll Work Around Your Fear
Modern dentists recognize and understand what their patients are going through and do everything they can to make certain that they’re comfortable. Not only will they give you as long as you need to get comfortable, many of them employ simple pharmaceuticals like Klonopin that knock you out for a couple hours while they work.
No matter how bad your dental experiences were in childhood, there’s no excuse for avoiding the dentist today. Modern dentistry is all about patient comfort and is worth revisiting.
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Kirsten Sparrow works as an office administrator at a family dental practice. She writes about dental care tips.