Do Dentists Judge You? Emotional & Psychological Experiences of Dentistry

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  4. Do Dentists Judge You? Emotional & Psychological Experiences of Dentistry

Do Dentists Judge You? Emotional & Psychological Experiences of Dentistry

  1. Home
  2. Dental Articles
  3. Dental Fillings Articles
  4. Do Dentists Judge You? Emotional & Psychological Experiences of Dentistry

Do Dentists Judge You?

In a word, no.

Dentists deal with bad teeth multiple times, every day. It might be a big deal to you, but to your dentist, it’s just Tuesday.

Good or unhealthy teeth are not a reflection of your character or your morality; and if you think they are, you might want to reframe that. It’s unlikely that the people on this planet not blessed – by genetics or money – with a beautifully straight, dazzlingly white smile blame their character for that; an nor should you.

Certainly a dentist doesn’t.

Oral health professionals and hygienists don’t judge because they’re happy that you’re seeking treatment to improve your oral health. There are many reasons people have the oral health that they have; be it lack of information, no check-ups as a child, socio-economic reasons or extreme anxiety and shame.

Dentists don’t study for seven years just to be able to laugh at people.

More than anyone, they understand that many patients are quite self-conscious about the state of their teeth and gums. Particularly those who had an unfortunate upbringing in regard to exposure and access to affordable dental care, or those who once had beautiful teeth that through events and circumstance became sadly neglected.

Every mouth tells a story and the only one your dentist listens for is the one with the happy, healthy ending.

Dentists are proud of people making the effort to make an appointment, and turn up for it – despite their fears of the prognosis and throat-closing thoughts of the probable cost.

They’re not infallible; they’re people and it seems the most disappointing scenario for them is simple advice that’s not taken.

One dentist recounts a parent whose child needed a filling. A year went by, and both returned to the surgery. The parent told the hygienist that they wanted to see the dentist’s surprised reaction when he saw that the cavity had been healed by oil pulling.

Where a fixable, simple filling had been needed, the dentist saw a massive hole, an abscessed tooth and the necessity for an extraction. Keeping his emotional response in check and maintaining matter-of-fact professionalism, the procedure was completed, and he had a light bulb moment: short of continual parental neglect, no patient has anything to worry about in terms of judging.

Our psyche often likens a dentist to the ancient two-faced Roman god of future and past, war and peace, Janus: the middle ground between the concrete and the abstract. Equally capable of causing great and torturous suffering, and being gentle and protective, your oral health expert will always, always choose to provide safe and painless care.

It is that sense of vulnerability in the dentist’s chair even moreso than in the doctor’s office, that has our monkey mind play torturous Janus tricks on our journey to better, and maintained, oral health. It races with thoughts of the dentist being the good guy..no the bad guy..the only one who can help us; the one who wants to take all our money.. my friend, my enemy.

They must think so badly of me …

No, they don’t.

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They’re medical professionals. Their drive is to help people. They have expertise in one of the most difficult occupations in the world. Dentists are often dealing with people who actually really don’t want to see them, are frightened and uncooperative during the treatment, and are sometimes rude and rather difficult.

Do you think they have time to be judgemental?

If you can’t see how a dentist wouldn’t be judgmental, you’re confusing their professional inclination to look for, and identify faults and defects of the mouth, to a penchant for finding the same in their patients.

Remember: without you the client, a dentist is just a highly educated person with a $300k debt and seven years of sleep to catch up on.

There are lots of reasons to decide to become a dentist; casting aspersions on those upon whom their livelihood depends, is not one of them.

Transforming the lives of patients through the care and restoration of their oral health is.

As is being a highly respected member of the community: which doesn’t happen if you’re mentally judging and belittling people.

After a while, it shows.

It is us who judge ourselves about our oral health. We do it because we regret not being better at it; not being more organised, more adult and less afraid.

We project those judgmental feelings onto the dentist: the one who will correct aesthetics, restore oral health, and eliminate pain. The one who will provide preventative care, and often participates in dental research and education. The one for whom dentistry is an art form, and masters the very techniques unique to it.

Ask yourself why you’d be disparaging toward the person in your dental chair, when they’re giving you the privilege and the joy of being the one they trust to positively transform the rest of their life.

Note: All content and media on the Bacchus Marsh Dental House website and social media channels are created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice.

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Great dental practice! Fong is a very experienced dentist acquiring all my dental needs and the nurse Emily helped my dentist experience a comfortable one. Highly recommend them.

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