Top 10 Reasons Patients Have for Avoiding Dental Care (Part 2 of 2)
By Jennifer Wheeler, DMD
Why People Avoid Dental Care #6 – The Sounds & Smells!
With any measure of anxiety or fear, your senses are put on high-alert. You become hyper-aware of sights, sounds and smells.
Some people hate the antiseptic smell of medical and dental offices. We do our best to keep our office looking (and smelling) like a spa-like atmosphere. You’ll feel our warm ambiance with light, low-key music playing in the background… sounds of a soothing waterfall, and medical-grade air purifiers to maintain a fresh clean smell.
Why People Avoid Dental Care #7 – The Cost!
What is pocket change to one is an astronomical fee to another.
This can be a real problem for some patients. Everyone appreciates exceptional care, but for some people, even general dentistry isn’t affordable for a small sector of our community. There are two issues here.
One is affordability. What some patients consider “pocket change” for dental fees can be seen as “astronomical” by another. As I mentioned previously, a small percentage of our patient base has definitive budget limitations and I certainly respect that.
The other issue is value. Not every patient places high value on their dental health. It can be a lot to spend if you need major work, and some people absolutely HATE spending hard-earned dollars on dentistry.
From time to time I run across a patient who becomes quite upset when faced with the reality of needing (a lot more than) routine dental care… typically from poor dental hygiene habits. Even if they have the money, they would rather be spending it on things that bring them more pleasure and I can’t say that I blame them for feeling angst over this.
Personally, I look upon general health and dental health as necessities. Staying healthy and keeping my teeth is a high priority. Others have different priorities. Money is one of the biggest reasons why people avoid dental care. Not being able to afford decent care can be very upsetting.
Why People Avoid Dental Care #8 – The Lectures!
If you already feel guilty or embarrassed about your situation, the last thing you want is reasons to feel worse. You don’t need to be scolded into submission, admonished like you’re a helpless child or assaulted by irrelevant factoids until your eyes glaze over.
Going to the dentist is stressful enough without the people who are supposed to help you piling on more guilt and blame. Who needs that? Why pay good money and be made to feel like a small child who’s getting scolded by her parents?
My approach to patients: Bombarding people with information shows professional knowledge, but demonstrates a selfish vie for attention and a disconnect from the relationship aspect. We are people taking care of people. I promised myself to never forget my humanity and to never compromise the bond I have with my patients by indulging in lectures or overplaying the SMART card.
What you want as a patient are solutions and positive emotional outcomes – to feel the security of good health and the confidence of looking and feeling your best. You need a fresh new start with the hope and promise of a better tomorrow. What you want from a dentist is leadership.
Here’s the bottom line: Find a dental team dedicated to making YOU healthy and happy instead of posturing to make themselves look more knowledgeable and superior. Never forget that you’re the boss, so tell them you prefer a NO LECTURES approach.
Why People Avoid Dental Care #9 – The Poor Service!
Everybody promises better service. When you step in the front door, you find out the truth. Do they have brand integrity and a great reputation, or is it just song and dance?
Indifference is the big relationship killer in healthcare. Every member of the team represents your brand, and any time one of them drops the ball on service, the magic you were trying to convey vanishes in a puff of smoke.
Here’s a secret. Where you find great service, you’re likely to find superior quality. They go hand in hand. It’s all about dedication to excellence, and that dedication extends to all aspects. Everything matters.
Look for prompt courteous care where you’re always treated with grace and respect. You want an uplifting experience in which you walk out healthier, happier and smiling more beautifully than when you walked in.
Why People Avoid Dental Care #10 – The Bad Memories!
Your brain is wired for fear.
Did you have a bad childhood experience? Join the club. So many of us endured nightmare scenarios by today’s standards.
It’s hard to let go of that. Every time you enter a dental office it can feel like you’re reliving those childhood events.
Your brain is wired for fear. Emotionally-intense memories are very powerful and long-lasting. Sedation Dentistry can be a great option to reduce the anxiety of dental fears brought on by bad memories.
Trust also goes a long ways to helping you finally let go of that past.
If you’re looking for a new Dentist… If you don’t have a Dentist… or you’d simply like a 2nd opinion on your overall dental health I want to invite you to call our office and schedule a consultation with me. I’d be delighted to sit down with you, listen to your concerns and goals and then (together) determine if I am the best choice for you. To schedule your consultation please call 314-576-3737 today.