One of my professors told me that he has often been told, “Hey Doc, it’s nothing personal, but I hate dentists.” This professor also shared that he thinks statements like these just come with the job. I know of another dentist who reacts when his patients tell him that onlineusadrugstore24.com they hate dentists by asking the patient what they do for a living. He then tells them that he hates their profession.
In my few years of experience in the dental field, I have met more than a handful of people who openly share their dislike of dentists. My first inclination is to find out why. Was it a bad experience when they were younger? Have they had difficulty communicating with their dentist? Have they had procedures done without good pain control?
As a kid, I loved going to the dentist because I would always get a new toothbrush. But I know I’m in the minority, or maybe just weird — probably both.
A lot of people hate the dentist due to dental fear (for example, here’s 15 reasons why people are afraid of the dentist), but I want to dig a little deeper and discover the root cause of all the hate.
Anyway, I’ve spent a significant amount of time thinking about this and I finally have my own personal theory of why people hate the dentist.
Why People Hate the Dentist
My theory actually has two parts. I’ll cover the first part this week, and the second part next week.
According to the first part of my theory, the reason that people hate the dentist is because teeth only feel pain.
Why do so many spouses buy massages for their loved ones on Valentines day? Because a massage is pleasant — usually people want a back massage because it makes them feel good.
Unfortunately, teeth aren’t quite the same as our backs when it comes to senses. Teeth can only sense pain. Imagine what it would be like if people craved their dental checkup because they were going to get their teeth massaged, rather than cleaned. What would life be like if a root canal was called a deep massage and actually felt good? You’d probably see lines at every dental office filled with people begging to get a root canal done so that they could have a full-tooth massage.
Brushing your teeth might make your mouth feel clean, but it’s more of a necessity than a feel-good experience. Most people would agree that the only time you really notice your teeth is when there is a problem!
The Odds Are Against Us
Many dentists try to make going to the dentist a pleasant experience, but it’s hard when your teeth are capable of only feeling pain. People usually go to the dentist for one of two reasons. The first is to have a routine cleaning, which is relatively painless but can be uncomfortable depending on the amount of plaque to be removed. The second reason people go to the dentist is because they have a problem, and more often than not it is a painful problem. Either way, if your dentist does his job well, at best you would feel no pain. But it is impossible for a dental procedure to feel good since teeth only feel pain. I mean, when was the last time that you said this to your dentist: “That root canal was amazing! Is there any chance you could do that to another one of my teeth at the next appointment?”
Dentists are in the business of preventing problems (although most of that falls back on the patient) and solving problems. Most of these problems are painful, and in addition, most of these problems require more pain (from the procedures) in order to be solved. If only your teeth were able to feel the good things that we do for them, people might not look at dentists with so much fear!
Why Do You Think People Hate the Dentist?
I realize that most people probably don’t actually hate “the dentist” but hate the experience of going to the dentist. I may be wrong in assuming that, but most dentists I’ve met over the years seem like pretty decent people. So it seems that people “hate the dentist” because of all they associate with visiting their dentist. Guilt by association, right?
Do you hate the dentist? Do you have any other theories? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below and join in on the conversation.
Thanks for reading!