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What You Can Do About How People Feel Towards Dentists

By Expert Author: Karen McDonagh

An average of four out of five people will probably comment that they hate the dentist or are afraid of the dentist. These people usually associate dental visits with pain and thus do not like the experience or do not like to put themselves in that situation. These people are anxious about getting dental work done even without yet having experienced any such procedure in the past. There may be no real basis for their anxiety but to them, a lifetime without going to the dentist would be the dream.

Now, let us be honest and acknowledge that dental treatments may not be completely pain- free. But this is not true for all dental treatments and all dental visits.

A proper dental education will teach you that not all dental visits involve drilling a tooth or extraction of a tooth. There is a concept now known as Preventive Dentistry that aims to prevent major dental work by taking care of a person’s teeth even before the onset of cavity or disease. Some of the methods involved in this way of treatment include the use of fluoride to strengthen children’s teeth, more frequent dental visits for teeth cleaning and minimally invasive cavity preparation or no preparation at all prior to filling. With a dental background, you can be part of the team that educates people about the availability of such treatment options and maybe help alleviate the fear of the general public against dentists and dental treatments.

An adequate dental education will teach you the skills necessary on how to alleviate pain and prevent pain that may be felt in conjunction with the oral cavity. Usually, a patient who is in pain while in the dental clinic experiences it because the pain was already there even before seeking the dental treatment. The dental professional did not cause the pain to be there, but it is the dental professional that has the abilities to alleviate it through a proper course of treatment. In addition, it is the dental professional that can teach ways to prevent a person from experiencing dental pain in the future. With a sufficient background in clinical or practical dentistry, which sharpens your skills in providing dental treatment, you may help change the way people perceive dentists – to see them as the ones who help relieve pain rather than cause it.

Thorough dental education does not only require students to familiarize themselves with what is normal in the oral cavity, the problems that may occur within the oral cavity and the proper dental treatment to address these problems. Thorough dental education incorporates the development of an ability for empathetic communication with patients, especially those with a great fear of the dentist. Throughout your work as a dental practitioner, you will definitely encounter patients who are overly fearful of anything associated with dentistry yet have no choice but to seek dental treatment, whether due to the presence of pain or a failing oral health condition. The good dental training you received may prepare you in dealing with such patients and therefore allow you to provide them with the quality dental service they need. If you are successful in helping these patients, then their feelings towards dentists may change. They may even influence others within their social circle and eventually affect a change in society’s perception of dentists, dental clinics and dental treatments.

Unfortunately, it is still common for people to fear the dentist. Fortunately, there are ways to change their minds about it. You can be a part of this revolutionizing team by getting a dental education and becoming a professional with an advocacy for preventive dentistry and non-stressful pain management, at the same time having the ability to properly communicate such principles to patients and the general public so as to reform the negative feelings towards the dental profession.


Karen McDonagh is a proud contributing author and write articles on several subjects including Dental CPD. For more information please go to Technology Offered for Dental Education.

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