Your mouth is a VERY personal and sacred space. Think about it. It's primary function is to allow you to do what most of us would say is one of the most amazing experiences of our lives and that's EATING. Your tongue alone is infused with thousands if not millions of nerve endings and taste buds that allow you to experience pure bliss. Without our ability to taste and enjoy food, I think most would agree, life would be rather bland. Yes, we eat food to survive but we gather 2-3 times a day to in a semi social event, centered around this amazing experience! So why don't we take our oral health more seriously? Before you answer that question, let's just start with a very basic step.
FIND A DENTIST YOU (CAN) TRUST
I'm a dentist. I'm probably biased in saying that I believe I'm a dentist you can trust. Now that my self-promotion is out of the way, lets discuss why its important you find a dentist you can trust.
We all know you hate the dentist. You can't stand the thought of a needle, or the sound of our "drill" going to work on your tooth. One way to lessen your anxiety is by having this trusting relationship with your dentist. If you truly trust your dentist, you know he is doing his very best to make sure your appointment is as painless and as quick as possible. This leads to less anxiety and a better experience for you.
2. Increased Confidence
I'm sure you've heard this line before. "I went to Dr. So and So and he wanted x amount to do y work on me, why do these dentist's think I'm made out of money?" . While there are some bad apples out there, mosts dentists aren't out there recommending a treatment plan for you based on their monetary gain. We actually want to help and believe what we are recommending, we would recommend for our brother, sister, mother or father. You lose confidence in a dentist when you believe he is just looking to make money off of your situation. A dentist you can trust, will always be honest with you regardless of what your treatment costs. Thats the kind of dentist you want.
3. Treatment Completion
There is probably some statistic or metric we have to tells us how many of you actually complete your treatment recommendation once it begins. The number is probably low. Why? Because there is mistrust. A trusting relationship with your dentist goes both ways as far as communication goes ( this is true for any relationship for that matter) and the more trust there is the more likely you're to complete your treatment.
4. Continuity of Care
There is a saying that goes something like this, "ask 5 different dentists their opinions, and get 10 different answers". News flash: Dentistry isn't always black and white. While it's prudent to get a second opinion for any recommendation by a dentist, it's just as important to see your specific treatment plan to completion. Don't "date" around, as that will create discontinuity in your care because dentists have differing opinions. Understand your treatment recommendations and ask if there are alternatives. If you trust your dentist, he/she is the only one you're going to see.
Finding a dentist you believe in may take a few visits to different offices around the area you live in. It's ok to not find the perfect match the first time. A dentist may have an amazing resume but he/she may not be the right one for you. Thats ok. We understand, and hope you find someone and that you're getting the care you need.
Your mouth is important. It's the gateway to many joys in life. Please take your oral healthcare seriously, trust me, you'll be better off for it!
Noe Chaparro DDS
Owner/Dentist at Cross Creek Dental