Dentistry Myths: Debunking the Four Most Popular

Dr. John Luther

Dr. John Luther, D.D.S. & Founder

May 30, 2014

A trip to the dentist can be a very emotional experience.

Like any appointment, there is the time to worry about as well as the cost and, oh yeah, how am I going to explain a cavity if they find one? The whole thing can be pretty stressful.

Thankfully, it’s unlikely that everything you’ve heard or have come to believe about your dentist is true. Just like any other medical professional, the majority of dentists are where they are because they want to see you proudly displaying that beautiful smile you have.

Let’s debunk some of these dentistry myths.

 1. The dentist doesn’t have time for me.

 Everybody’s different. Some people come into the office, don’t say a word for the procedure, and leave when it’s finished. Maybe that’s not you, though. Maybe you’re the kind of person who likes to have things explained or is unsure about certain procedures.

The sometimes-frantic pace of your dentist’s office may make you feel like they really don’t have time to sit down and explain what they’re doing or assure you during the procedure how it is helping your oral health.

Image credit to patrisyu | FreeDigitalPhotos

This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. For dentists, it is of supreme importance that you feel comfortable and accommodated with however many questions you might have.

Your dentist wants you to ask questions. They want to talk with you about what they’re doing. Most of all, they want to make sure you know the best way to keep that smile shining.


2. The dentist is indifferent to my pain.

A trip to the dentist is often related to severe pain. Let’s face it – physically, it’s not always the most comfortable experience.

Most dentists when they know they are going to be drilling, injecting, or doing any kind of mechanical work in your mouth will ask you to raise your hand if it becomes painful.

Sadly, your dentist doesn’t always specify that they mean any kind of pain and not just the blindsiding, struck-a-nerve, makes you gag kind of pain.

Though pain is seemingly inevitable in the dental world, we care deeply about your comfort and want to make sure that that is taking priority over getting the procedure done quickly.

Far from being indifferent, we are aware that everybody has different thresholds and reactions to pain. When we ask you to let us know if something hurts we are relying on you to make sure we know!


3. The dentist will be shocked/I will get scolded.

 One of the most deer-in-the-headlights looks I see on people is when they finally crack and tell me about their inconsistent brushing, absent flossing or the sugary foods.

There is this moment of bracing themselves for what they expect to be a cold sermon on the importance of home oral hygiene.

This is the only time that I believe it is okay to disappoint a patient. Your dentist isn’t concerned about your oral hygiene because he or she has an easier job when you’ve been brushing every day.

Dana Rothstein | Dreamstime Photography
Dana Rothstein | Dreamstime Photography

We are concerned because we know that your life is probably crazy busy, and practices like habitual flossing can take weeks or months to integrate into your routine (especially twice a day).

More than anything else, we want to help you find a way to feel good about the oral health decisions you are making on a day-to-day basis.


4. I don’t need to go to the dentist.

Even typing those words makes my skin crawl. Seeing a dentist is so important that your dentists probably sees a dentist.

Good home oral hygiene can decrease the frequency with which you need to stop by, but it is still recommended that at least twice a year, you have a dental checkup to make sure there are no issues going of which you may be unaware.

Having white teeth is a great thing and can naturally inspire confidence in their owner. They are not, however, a perfect indicator of dental health.

It’s true that most inner-tooth issues like decay will cause a noticeable staining to the tooth. However, hyper white teeth can also indicate excessive fluorides or under calcified areas within the tooth.

Scheduling a cleaning and exam two times a year will make sure that there is nothing happening under the surface which could get worse over time.


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