Why I Hate the Dentist: People Who Hate Dentists Part I

by Dr. Joe :) · 25 comments

Fear and Loathing at the Dentist…

When’s the last time you heard someone say “I hate the dentist!”

I hate Dentists - people who hate the dentistBetter yet, when’s the last time you said it?

Personally, I’ve had more than my share of dental nightmares as a child. I should have plenty of reasons to hate going to the dentist. Yet, I don’t mind it.

I’m not pretending I enjoy having dental work done. It still can be an ordeal, especially for any bigger projects. I just don’t feel that sense of dread like I once did as a child.

Besides, having  5 children at home – I’ve found that weathering ordeals is an expected part of everyday living.

So why do people hate the dentist? I’ll cover some reasons why along with what sort of people would say something like that.

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YouTube Dental Rants & Raves

Look at all the YouTube posts on hating the dentist. Young people enjoy giving their juvenile rants about their latest dental horror story. Some are straight up with “I HATE the Dentist!” Some take a sarcastic angle with a title of “I LOVE the Dentist!” before launching into their monologue. Either way, the videos mostly suck.

Bashing on some minority group like overweight people would come across as downright mean. Dentist-bashing is still something you can still get away with and be seen as cool or funny.

YouTube posts like that just take a routine dental experience and hype it up in an effort to get some comedic attention. Few of those make it past lame, let alone funny.

What is funny? The real stuff, like little David in the back seat coming back from the dentist (see video above). He’s obviously still stoned out of his gourd from dental sedation and says some silly stuff. It’s cute.

Bill Cosby did a hilarious comedy routine about visiting the dentist. At least it was hilarious 30 years ago.

What’s also funny are movie scenes.

I loved Steve Martin singing The Dentist Song in Little Shop of Horrors. Great comedy bit. (see video =>)

The followup scene was Bill Murray playing the masochistic patient and Steve Martin as the sadistic dentist gets no pleasure out of torturing someone who enjoys it all. They’re both so over the top.

More recently, Ricky Gervais in Ghost Town cracked me up. He was so believable as a miserable dentist.

I loved the dentist scene in Finding Nemo. In one scene, all the fish inside a tank are watching the dentist perform and getting right into it. The best scene was where the little girl in the dental chair is screaming with a fish flopping around on her head and everyone in the waiting room has eyes as big as saucers. Perhaps no big deal to you, but as a dentist I thought it was hilarious!

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Why People Hate the Dentist

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “Sorry Doc, but I hate dentists.”

What I don’t want are SURPRISES. Dental surprises are never those happy ones.

I don’t take the hate-dentist stuff personally. It’s the work we dentists do that put people on edge… The grinding noise, the vulnerable position in the chair, the vibrations that send shivers down your back. Not to mention the constant anticipation of toe-curling pain.

I’ve had plenty of work done myself and I’m not crazy about being on the receiving end. When I’m a patient, I appreciate empathy and efforts to make a comfortable experience out of something that’s potentially unpleasant.

Here’s what I want as a patient:

  • comfortable, convenient care
  • do what needs to done, no more and no less
  • do excellent work that will last
  • explain what’s going on

What I don’t want are SURPRISES. Dental surprises are never those happy ones.

Here’s the bottom line of why people hate the dentist. Dentists represent PAIN and EXPENSE.

If it was all free, including the option of Sedation Dentistry, that anxiety, frustration and “I-hate-the-dentist” negativity would all be gone.

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Your Situation

Perhaps you’ve grown up healthy, pain-free and had all your needs taken care of. You feel no hatred of dentists.

Then go out and find a dentist that can ensure an easy, comfortable dental experience for you and your loved ones.

That’s the realm of fairy-tales for those who’ve grown without the privilege of decent dental care. For them, lack of dental care is a source of much suffering and visiting a dentist remains an unobtainable luxury.

Maybe you’ve grown up with your share of bad dental experiences like I have. What are you going to do? You can avoid the dentist and suffer the consequences… You can complain about dentists if you like… You can even post your rant on YouTube.

I suggest you remember all those who can’t afford the luxury of decent dental care and count yourself lucky that you can.

Then go out and find a dentist that can ensure an easy, comfortable dental experience for you and your loved ones.

Stay tuned…

I’ll continue this conversation about People Who Hate Dentists and Dental Care with Part II –  The Dentist Haters.

Stay healthy and keep smiling!

Signature for a Toronto Cosmetic Dentist.

Dr. Joe 🙂


Dr. Joe Bulger

About the Author: is a West Toronto dentist. He’s also the founder of Royal York Dental – a respected dental clinic serving Etobicoke since 1950.


Leave a Comment

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anjedira June 15, 2010 at 10:34 pm

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Ha HA HA very funny clip…… getting dental work done is not that bad. Do you think that a bigger percentage of people who hate the dentist are those who have never delivered a baby??? NOW THATS PAIN.

2 Dr. Joe :) June 15, 2010 at 11:50 pm

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The good thing about delivering a baby… you get a baby at the end of it. That sure beats a prize from the toybox and a new toothbrush!

Believe it or not, the biggest percentage of people that HATE dentists can NEVER deliver a baby. These dental woosies are notorious avoiders and comprise some 50% of the population.

They like short sentences and drive pickup trucks…

No, I’m not talking about redneck nation… It’s men.

If we didn’t have women in our lives to take care of us we would all be pirates. Bad teeth, eye patch, hook for a hand, peg leg… you get the picture.

Except for those metrosexuals. They’re the anti-pirates.

3 Raquelle June 30, 2010 at 5:01 pm

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Bill Cosby’s skit on the dentist was hillarious!! While it was 30 years ago, some things still hold true.. Case in point, the dentist being able to understand everything that the patient says, even while the patient has been numbed.. Can we say amazing!! Good article! Anyway, I represent one of the lucky bunch of people that have been blessed with a great dental past and present and for this I am thankful. Once you find a good dentist and hygienist hang on for dear life!!

4 Dr. Joe :) June 30, 2010 at 9:02 pm

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We’re notorious for stuffing people’s mouths full of cotton then asking questions. I’ve been guilty of that on occasion and have to laugh at myself for being so silly. :0

Finding good healthcare providers is huge, especially if you’re making the decision for multiple loved ones.

I’ve seen New Patients experience a wave of relief once they’ve finally found us. They’ve had troubling experiences out there and discovered not every dentist deserves to be trusted.

In the end it’s all about trust – earning and deserving trust. Dentistry is a breeze once you have trust.

5 Swiss Ball Exercises July 17, 2010 at 5:14 pm

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Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

6 mississauga dentist July 18, 2010 at 4:51 am

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I agree with you. It is very hard to get trust and maintain reputation to clients as provider. It need a lot of sacrificing and extending effort to deliver good results. But indeed it is more soul searching that clients are giving positive feedback after service.

7 Dr. Joe :) July 19, 2010 at 11:21 am

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It does feel great when we know we’ve done good. There’s nothing like the smile of a happy patient!

8 Los Angeles Dental Clinics August 19, 2010 at 12:53 am

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So many people retain their childhood fears (sometimes fully justified) about visiting the dentist. I used to be exactly the same – a visit to the dentist was something I dreaded for days beforehand. Things have changed so much in recent years though, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to claim to enjoy visiting the dentist, I certainly don’t end up with heart palpitations beforehand (unless the dentist is a George Clooney lookalike !!).

9 Dr. Joe :) August 19, 2010 at 6:41 pm

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Well said Los Angeles. Lots of us have grown up with fear and have learned to let go. Switching dentists can be very stressful because then you start thinking it might go back to being awful again.

One things for sure. Once you’ve been pampered by a dental team that knows how to serve you with a smile, you never want to go back to a cold, insensitive place where you’re treated with indifference.

Joe 😀

10 Dental Clinic in Singapore October 5, 2010 at 3:34 am

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I used to be pretty afraid of the dentist.. but then you sorta grow up and tell yourself to suck it up.. try it.. it works.. haha

11 Silver Satin Evening Shoes January 19, 2011 at 2:03 am

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“I have come across so many people saying like this only” I hate dentist” what I feel is this “hate” has its roots from the fear or the unpleasant experience they have had in their child hood or something. But anyway dental treatment is an inevitable thing in our life so what we can do is to demand more from dentist, and make our visits more pleasant and less painful. Ty.”

12 Kingston 8gb Flash Drive January 20, 2011 at 4:43 am

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My girlfriend has very sensitive teeth. Ever since she was small she has been a very good visitor to the dentist. All the experiences with the dentist have been extremely painful and dreadful, so much so she can’t stand the Word’ Dentist’ or anything to do with it. Once the dentist numbed the wrong teeth and drilled the other, and she went through it, horrifying, can’t blame her. Well there is a lot of important pending work to be done on her teeth. I had to sit and brainwash her for months as anyways she has to go to the doctor (sooner the better). Finally she agreed she came along. We spent a fortune on her teeth, but gladly it went well.

13 Lawrence August 13, 2011 at 11:11 am

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Me too. Numbed the wrong side of my face for a root canal. Then didn’t get it all and I now get to go back because I have a toothache in said tooth. Well worth going into debt for.

14 heidi@cheap graphic design March 17, 2011 at 2:12 am

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what scares you most, dentist or tooth decay? Maybe Dentists give us pain because of the treatment they are performing but after that we can see the good results through a better smile and healthier teeth.

15 Heather Smith @Dental Website Design December 27, 2011 at 12:58 am

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Would it be much better if I personally knew my dentist? If not ? What kind of dentist would you recommend? Thanks.!

16 Nathan Woodbury@dental websites January 11, 2012 at 10:45 pm

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Dentist are your savior. For me, they are heroes because I can barely rely to them whenever I do have problems with my teeth.

17 Feye@Pediatric Dentist January 26, 2012 at 5:42 am

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I guess it’s just a mindset why some people hate dentist, or they fell on the wrong kind of services on previous occasion with a dentist. I know, it’s rally scary to think of needles and hands of white but for professional help that involves oral health,dentist are the one’s responsible for treating your pain. I’ve found great clinics through words of mouth and reading reviews about them. My way to “not” hate dentists.

18 Steve@Free Coupons March 17, 2012 at 12:39 am

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Only cavity I ever had was when I stopped going for regular cleanings for about a year and a half. The dentist I have now is great…and I was referred to by a family member. The deductible is higher and I don’t get as much paid for with my insurance through this dentist, but I’m comfortable and have been going for quite a while. Not going to take this for granted !

19 Dentist@Raritan Dentist November 3, 2012 at 11:06 pm

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The youtube video of the little kid coming back from the dentist is also hilarious.

20 Dentist November 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm

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I respect all the people who hate me, and that’s why my middle finger salutes you.

21 cosmetic dentist orlando December 2, 2012 at 3:15 am

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I don’t know what is better: giving our patient’s sedation dentistry and knock them out for a procedure, or try to positively motivate their emotions to the dental visit.

22 fay February 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm

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i don’t understand why in 2013 the needles still hurt, even when they put that silly gel on your gums, that doesn’t even work.

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