Debunking Myths And Easing Anxieties Surrounding Dental Visits
Does your fear of the dentist cause you to avoid scheduling appointments? Perhaps you’re a dental practitioner interested in understanding why patients don’t prioritize their oral health. Whatever the case is, myths and misconceptions are common culprits. Before the internet, misinformation spread throughout communities, causing people to steer clear of oral health professionals. Ultimately, it results in many people suffering from poor oral health and associated medical conditions.
The key to resolving the issue is dispelling the rumors and increasing patient understanding. Patients can accomplish this by learning facts from reliable sources. Dentists can educate their patients while also implementing strategies and solutions within their practice to ease their anxieties. Below are some common misconceptions and suggestions for patients and dentists.
You Only Need To Visit The Dentist If You’re In Pain
Many believe they only need to see a dentist when they’re in pain. However, that is not the case. For starters, not all oral health issues manifest through pain; if left untreated, they can evolve into more significant issues. Secondly, visiting the dentist helps prevent complications.
Patients should schedule a dental appointment at least twice a year for cleanings, X-rays, and evaluations. Dentists can encourage patients by educating them on preventative care procedures and sending out appointment reminders.
The Procedures Are Too Painful
Your gums, teeth, and mouth are sensitive and are, therefore, more susceptible to experiencing discomfort when poked or prodded. However, modern advancements in dental technology have cultivated new equipment and tools to make procedures less painful.
Dental patients should discuss their sensitivity levels with their dentists before their scheduled appointment. That way, they can learn about the various options to increase their comfort and ease their anxiety. Dentists must continually invest in the latest technologies to reduce the intensity of invasive procedures.
Results Take Too Long
Many dental procedures cannot be completed in one session. Dentists must first evaluate the problem area, make an appropriate diagnosis, and then place orders for the necessary products. They must also consider factors like bone density and pain thresholds. Although these steps are essential for quality care, they mean more dentist trips than most patients would like.
Patients can ask to shorten their treatment plan or consider visiting a dentist with multiple services and specialists to receive treatment faster. Dentists should invest in modern advancements like dental labs to help streamline processes and provide comfortable services to patients.
Visiting The Dentist Will Bankrupt You
More than fear, many people put off the dentist because they believe it will cost an arm and a leg for services. As if the cost of living isn’t already high enough, the last thing they want is a costly invoice for a cleaning, x-ray, and a few fillings. Even for patients with insurance, out-of-pocket expenses are often too high for the average person to afford.
Patients should consider opening a health savings account. It enables you to deposit a portion of your income “tax-free” into an account for health-related expenses. You can also ask about financing options or installment plans to make your oral healthcare more affordable. Dentists should accept various insurance policies and offer comprehensive plans, discounts, and financing options to accommodate patient budgets.
For patients, visiting the dentist causes stress, anxiety, and fear. However, many of these emotions are brought on by myths, misconceptions, and misinformation. Educating yourself on the facts by accessing reliable sources and consulting with your dentists can help you overcome your apprehension. For dental practitioners, understanding why people within your service area don’t prioritize their oral health can help you develop a plan to make a difference.
Spread facts-based content through traditional and digital mediums like flyers, postcards, blogs, and social media. Implement policies and procedures that provide a positive patient experience. Invest in advanced technologies to streamline services and ease patient discomfort. Finally, provide multiple payment and insurance solutions to make your services accessible to the community you serve. When patients and dentists come together, it cultivates a community of happier, healthier people.