Which type of dental patient are you?

| May 15, 2009

Columbus Ohio Dentist

With just over 30 years experience owning a private dental practice in Columbus Ohio area,  I have seen a lot of patients.  Although there are exceptions to every rule, here is my perspective on the types of dental patients.  Take the poll and see where you fall with others.

Old Faithful – These are the patients that come to see us on the recommended check-up schedule 2 or 3 times per year.  If they have gum disease or decay they get it taken care of.  They have healthy smiles because they take care of their smiles.

Only when it hurts – These patients are under the myth that they only need to come to the dentist when it hurts.  The sad truth is that they could avoid the pain that typically comes with neglecting their dental care by making routine visits.  Decay and gum disease, doesn’t go away….. it grows and becomes more expensive and painful to fix.

Every year or so – These people still call us their dentist even if we only see them every other year.  They typically need a filling or crown which could have been avoided with regular visits.  They continue to pay for dental insurance even though they aren’t using it.

Too afraid to go to the dentist– These people have perhaps had a bad dental experience in the past that keeps them from getting the dental care they need.  This is a sad situation.  Dentistry is constantly changing and there are new materials and methods to reduce fear and anxiety.  Sedation dentistry can be an excellent method to help the patient that has always been afraid of the dentist.  If you have a fear of going to the dentist, you owe it to yourself to see if a sedation technique would help you get the dental care you need.

I can’t go to the dentist,  I don’t have insurance –  You need to go to the dentist to maintain your teeth, if you want to keep them functioning for life.  Just as a car needs oil, (which isn’t covered by car insurance) your smile needs professionally cleaned to get all the gunk out.  In addition, your teeth break down and start to wear out with constant daily use.  A dentist can catch problems early when they are small, and less expensive.  And you can bet that the money you are trying to “save” by not going to the dentist now will be a lot less money saved than the money you will spend to get the bigger dental problems fixed in the future.

Besides, what you save by not paying an insurance premium will cover most if not all of your professional dental cleaning costs.  And remember… just because it’s called dental insurance doesn’t mean it “insures” you of no out of pocket costs.