Top 10 Reasons People HATE Dentists

by Dr. Joe :) · 163 comments

“Things I Really HATE About Dentists”

Many people hate the dentist

What do you HATE about dentists? What part of it bugs you the most?

“Everything!”

If you’re a Dentist Hater, I’m sure you have your reasons, and yet I’ll bet it’s not actually dentists you hate. It’s all the stuff a dentist does that creeps you out – the drilling, filling, and billing parts.

Who can blame you for that? A dental chair can combine the sum of all fears… with pain, needles, doctors, confined-spaces, loud noises.

It’s no big surprise so many people hate going to the dentist.

Yet, dentists aren’t such bad people. We’re just the ones doing the work and stuck with the bad-guy label.

Here’s a list I put together of the Top 10 Reasons People Hate Dentists based on my years of observation. It was easy. I just listen to people’s stories.

Perfect strangers, once they know I’m a dentist, are willing to tell me why they hate “our kind.” ( a little Anti-Dentite Seinfeld humor there)

See Kramer’s Anti-Dentite skit –>

Besides, if you came to see me as a new patient, one of the first things I would want to know is what you like and dislike about going to dentists. I want to do more of what you like and less of what you don’t like.

What is it about going to the dentist that you hate more than anything else? I tried to organize these Top 10 Reasons based on this question… “What is the one thing you hate the most about dentists?”

Participate in the poll to indicate which of the Top 10 Reasons you hate most. Read more about the Top 10 Reasons below and decide which ones apply to you. Thank you!

sweet post-doodle - 573Top 10 Reasons Why People HATE Dentists

Why People HATE Dentists #1 – The Needle!

In picking #1 for this Top 10 list, I gave the nod to the biggest phobia. Fear of needles and injections is HUGE for some people. It’s one of the Top 10 Adult Phobias, and children are even more fearful.

I didn’t dare show a picture of a needle here, because even the image will upset a phobic person.

Suffering from dental pain - hate the dentist.

Dentistry without anesthetic is an option… “Dear lord, you must be kidding!” is what you might be thinking. I actually do a lot of Minimally-Invasive Dentistry with no anesthetic. It’s nice to avoid the freezing (that’s what we call it here in Canada) when it isn’t needed.

On the other hand, proper Pain Management is absolutely essential for more invasive dentistry. I can hardly imagine the brutality of old-style dentistry.

Delivery of Local Anesthetic is often the make-or-break “Moment of Truth” in the entire patient-doctor relationship. That’s the reason I use a Comfort-Driven System to ensure patients are as comfortable as possible.

Being a little sneaky about it also helps. Nobody should have to look at it.

Why People HATE Dentists #2 – The Pain!

Is it going to hurt?” That’s the question on everybody’s mind whenever they sit in a dental chair. This was a strong choice for #1 on this Top10 list and is easily the most common reason that people hate dentists.

Modern dentistry should be comfortable and easy.

Everyone hates pain, and if you’ve ever endured dental pain, you know how excruciating it can be. That’s the reason why so many people associate dentists with pain.

Your teeth are a vulnerable, sensitive area of your body, so the threat of dental pain is very real. Many people have felt jolts of pain at the dentist in the past, and they never want to feel anything like that again.

That’s why proper Pain Management is so vitally important. Otherwise dentistry becomes brutality and the dentists are despised for it. Modern dentistry should be comfortable and easy.

Why People HATE Dentists #3 – The Anxiety!

This has to be the worst part. Anxiety is that sense of dread and general apprehension before and during an appointment.

Anxiety puts you on edge, compounds the ordeal and you’re left completely drained by it. Even if there isn’t any pain involved, it’s the threat of pain and other triggers of fear that build up the anxiety and make for a miserable experience.

Some people can’t sleep properly the night before their appointment. They hate feeling so anxious but they can’t shake it. Sedation Dentistry is a great option to reduce anxiety.

I wrote more about this issue in a previous 2-part post about Fear and Anxiety.

Why People HATE Dentists #4 – The Drill!

Old-style dental drill. Brace yourself.

Some people are OK with everything, except for the dreaded dental drill. This weapon of destruction – with all the noise vibration and spray – becomes a focus for their anxiety. When they hear that sound, their sweat starts to pour.

Thankfully the newer ones are much quieter and smoother than those old brain-rattling ones of yesteryear. Inside your mouth, sounds tend to be amplified. Sedation Dentistry can help you relax if the dental drill is intolerable. Earphones help block out the sound so you can almost pretend you’re laying back on the beach.

Why People HATE Dentists #5 – The Invasiveness!

Dentistry is invasive. We’re right inside your mouth performing our gum-gardening and tooth-carpentry.  This can definitely feel like an invasion of your personal space. If the dentist is not graceful, gentle and respectful about your care, you could feel almost violated by the invasiveness of most dental procedures.

Why People HATE Dentists #6 – The Sounds & Smells!

With any measure of anxiety or fear, your senses are put on high-alert. You become hyper-aware of sights, sounds and smells.

Some people hate the antiseptic smell of medical and dental offices. We do our best to keep our office sensually attractive within a spa-like atmosphere.  You’ll feel our warm ambiance with light jazz in the background, our soothing warterwall, and medical-grade air purifiers to maintain a fresh clean smell.

Why People HATE Dentists #7 – The Cost!

What is pocket change to one is an astronomical fee to another.

This can be a deal-breaker. Everyone appreciates exceptional care, but for some people, even basic dental care isn’t affordable.

There’s 2 issues here. One is affordability. What is pocket change to one is an astronomical fee to another. People have their budget limitations and I certainly respect that. Sometimes “good enough” has to be the way when “the best” is not within reach.

The other issue is value. Not everyone places high value on their dental health. It can be a lot to spend if you need major work, and some people absolutely HATE spending hard-earned dollars on dentistry. It makes them furious because they don’t get to spend it on stuff they like. Even if they have the money, they would rather be spending it on things that bring them more pleasure.

Personally, I look upon general health and dental health as necessities. Staying healthy and keeping my teeth is a high priority.

Others have different priorities, such as the young woman in The Lost Starfish.

Money is one of the biggest sources of Dental Drama. Not being able to afford decent care can be very upsetting.

Scolding for bad behaviour

Why People HATE Dentists #8 – The Lectures!

If you already feel guilty or embarrassed about your situation, the last thing you want is reasons to feel worse. You don’t need to be scolded into submission, admonished like you’re a helpless child or assaulted by irrelevant factoids until your eyes glaze over.

Going to the dentist is stressful enough without the people who are supposed to help you piling on more guilt and blame. Who needs that? Why pay good money and be made to feel like crap?

My advice to dentists: Bombarding people with information shows professional knowledge, but demonstrates a selfish vie for attention and a disconnect from the relationship aspect. We are people taking care of people. Never forget your humanity and compromise that bond by indulging in lectures or overplaying the SMART card. People already assume you’re smart, so you don’t have to prove anything. Keep that card tucked in your pocket and use it sparingly. Play the WARM card to the hilt because what people really want is more caring in your care.

What you want as a patient are solutions and positive emotional outcomes -  to feel the security of good health and the confidence of looking and feeling your best.  You need a fresh new start with the hope and promise of a better tomorrow. What you want from a dentist is leadership.

Here’s the bottom line: Find a dental team dedicated to making YOU healthy and happy instead of posturing to make themselves look more knowledgeable and superior. Never forget that you’re the boss, so tell them you prefer a NO LECTURES approach.

Why People HATE Dentists #9 – The Poor Service!

Everything matters.

Everybody promises better service. When you step in the front door, you find out the truth. Do they have brand integrity and a great reputation, or is it just song and dance?

Indifference is the big relationship killer in healthcare. Every member of the team represents your brand, and any time one of them drops the ball on service, the magic you were trying to convey vanishes in a puff of smoke.

Here’s a secret. Where you find great service, you’re likely to find superior quality. They go hand in hand. It’s all about dedication to excellence, and that dedication extends to all aspects. Everything matters.

Look for prompt courteous care where you’re always treated with grace and respect. You want an uplifting experience in which you walk out healthier, happier and smiling more beautifully than when you walked in.

Why People HATE Dentists #10 – The Bad Memories!

Your brain is wired for fear.

Did you have a bad childhood experience? Join the club. So many of us endured nightmare scenarios by today’s standards.

It’s hard to let go of that. Every time you enter  a dental office it can feel like you’re reliving those childhood events.

Your brain is wired for fear. Emotionally-intense memories are very powerful and long-lasting. Sedation Dentistry can be a great option to reduce the anxiety brought on by bad memories. Trust also goes a long ways to helping you finally let go of that past.

Back to top

Here's a sweet little post-doodle for posting.

Getting Past the Hate:

There you have it, the Top 10 Reasons Why People Hate Dentists. Was there anything on the list with your name all over it?

Dental horror stories are retold like spooky campfire tales…

The good news is that dentistry is more advanced and more comfortable than ever. So these days, most people don’t mind going to the dentist.

Sure, everyone wishes dentistry was more affordable. And as pleasant as we can make things, dental offices won’t be anyone’s favorite place to visit. Until we have a magic wand, the dentistry still has to get done. The big change is that visiting the dentist doesn’t tend to ruin your day as much, and that’s a world of difference from the bad old days.

The bad news is that in a weird way, people LOVE bad news and scary stories.  Dental horror stories are retold like spooky campfire tales. Those I-HATE-the-dentist rants are more interesting than any I-LOVE-my-dentist stories.

Things like Root Canal Therapy have such a bad rep because of all the friend-of-a-friend stories that circulate. People are amazed and relieved once they discover how laughably easy most things really are.

Good news is warm and fuzzy, but not buzz-worthy. A juicy horror story has legs. You can milk a harrowing tale for years of attention and sympathy if you’re so inclined.

So in the end, you can keep hanging on to your I-Hate-the-Dentist story, or get on with things and find a dentist that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable.

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 owner-founder of Royal York Dental – a respected dental clinic serving Etobicoke since 1950.

If you would like to learn more about your dental options, fill out our contact form or CALL 416 231-0550 for a FREE & Easy No-Obligation First Visit.


{ 158 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Raquelle June 5, 2010 at 7:24 pm

I agree with the “lecturing” point # 8 in this article, wherein people don’t want to go to the dentist because they are already guilty and do not want a reason to feel worse. I would try to avoid dental visits for that same reason… If I didn’t floss, I didn’t want to go to the visit for fear of my hygienist making me feel like a child.

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2 Dr. Joe June 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

Raquelle, it’s amazing the transformational powers of putting on a white coat. It can turn people into pompous windbags that won’t stop posturing as experts long enough to have a normal conversation. It’s called Exalted Professional Syndrome.

If Lecturing is a problem at your dentist, please do them a favor by speaking up. Otherwise you can look for a place that will put you on a pedestal instead of themselves.

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3 Michael Aviado June 6, 2010 at 10:24 am

Nicely written Dr. Joe. For me, the number one fear I have about dentists is the bad experience. Lucky for me the worst experience I had is not enough novocaine… was easily fixed but I still had to yelp first to let him know that I needed more. But have heard stories of wrong tooth being pulled out or dentists couldn’t stop the bleeding.

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4 Dr. Joe June 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Mike, wrong tooth – that is scary!
Not enough freezing can pretty uncomfortable. No point in suffering. Like you said, once you feel that pain you never want to feel it again. The memory of it can hang over you like a dark cloud. That’s how people start dreading the dentist.

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5 Michael Aviado June 10, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Reminds me of the bit by Steve Martin in “Little Shop of Horrors” very funny part where he sings “I want to be a Dentist!”

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6 Dr. Joe :) June 10, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Michael, thanks for participating here at the Toronto Dentist Smile Blog.

I put that exact movie clip into one of my earlier posts – Why I Hate the Dentist? (People Who Hate Dentists Part I)

Check it out!

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7 Sally June 16, 2013 at 8:35 am

I agree with,Michael about the little shop of horrors song I gave me the creeps

8 Shelley June 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm

One of the many things that I love about the dentists at RYD is that each dentist explains what may be expected whether it be good or bad for each procedure to help patients understand their course of treatment much better. I appreciate the honesty because it does calm patients down prior to treatment and dispells any mystery they may think is involved. Many pain management options are discussed and prehaps if treatment may not work what can be another plan of action. By preparing patients before treatment it does relieve anxiety and makes a patient feel more comfortable which makes future dental visits a breeze a a better relationship with the dentists at RYD.

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9 Dr. Joe :) June 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Thanks Shelley! We really do try to help people through the ordeal of dentistry as comfortable as possible. From your kind words, the one that jumps out at me is honesty. That’s the key isn’t it. I like how you said it “dispels the mystery.”

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10 Mike S@Auto Insurance Quotes June 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post.

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11 HarryIsFat October 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm

It is the reasons why people hate dentists.

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12 Bill@Find A Local Dentist July 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Hilarious Seinfeld episode, and nice Steve Martin reference, Michael. I’m reminded of a comedian who joked about wanting “universal” anesthetic instead of general.
The Needle is rightfully at the top, though I might have put the The Drill at #2.

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13 Dr. Joe :) July 7, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Hi Bill!
Yes, it was tough deciding which should be the top three. The Drill is a pretty common choice, and I had it #2 when I first made this list. In asking people who hate the drill, it’s usually the pain or the anticipation of pain that they really hate.

Probably I’m just analyzing things way too much.

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14 JJ March 26, 2013 at 9:09 am

Not really – the noise of the drill is quite freaky too, much worse than the nails down a blackboard screech noise.

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15 implanty dentystyczne July 12, 2010 at 2:01 am

Super site, and nice text.

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16 Dr. Joe :) July 12, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for the thumbs up from a fellow dental site!

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17 Swimming Bird Herman July 20, 2010 at 7:52 pm

I am a proud anti-dentite. I have never had a good experience at any of the 7 I have been to. You committ federal crimes everyday by impersonating real doctors who actually completed medical school and get your sick kicks by charging people outrageous amounts of money to put them in unnessicary amounts of pain. Go back to medical school and finish you lazy schmucks!!!

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18 Dr. Joe :) July 20, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Ahh… the old doctors are gods and dentists are crooks routine.

Fortunately for dentists, the majority of the population now puts us and pharmacists well ahead of doctors in terms of trust.

7 dentists and they were all bad? Sounds like you’re on the Path of Pain. That’s where every dental experience is a big crisis situation with big fees.

Of course it’s always easier to blame the dentist, or all 7 of them.

Good luck with that anti-dentite philosophy.

Joe :D

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19 Swimming Bird Herman July 21, 2010 at 3:32 am

To be honest, I trust Vets more then I do doctors. When they walk into work every morning they have to be prepared to treat a dog, a cat, a cockatiel, a frog, a snake, etc. To be familiar with the anatomy of mammals, reptiles, birds, or amphibians AND be able to identify symptoms takes more training then any doctor.

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20 Dr. Joe :) July 24, 2010 at 8:00 am

I agree. Most vets are great at what they do and people sure love their pets.

If only they loved their teeth that much!

Joe :D

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21 Gautham June 4, 2013 at 5:36 am

Though an animal lover and a dentist…
im appalled by the comment comparing doctors/dentists/pharmacists/veterinary doctors…
if 7 dentists were hurting you..does is make little sense to u that it might be an actual problem that could hurt sometimes..

dont be a baby.. get yourself treated..

im not used to having online spites…

and more importantly..do it soon..

or you wont have a vet treat you because a coroner will be cutting your sorry ass to find infection of odontogenic origin..

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22 Felicia @ No Deposit Poker August 31, 2010 at 2:40 am

I may be late to comment but I might say this is a very well written article! For me, the reason why I did not want to visit a particular dentist anymore was because of the bad memories I had there. I had a bad tooth when I was a teenager (there was some pus inside, he says, that’s why it hurt so bad) and it needed to be pulled out, but it was very hard to do so because my mouth was small and the bad tooth is, I think, a large molar (near my wisdom tooth). The dentist reassured me that it won’t hurt because he’ll inject some anesthesia for me. Sadly, he seemed to be inexperienced with my situation. Even if he injected some anesthesia in my gums, I can still feel the pain whenever he tries to yank out my bad tooth. My tooth suddenly broke in half, and he ended up injecting more anesthesia in my gums. The worst thing is that my gums may be so swelled up that I ended up drinking some of the anesthesia he was giving me (he wasn’t aware of it)(I was crying that time, and he only thinks it’s because my tooth hurt so much). After about 3 hours, the remaining half of my tooth was out. My tears are still falling after that, while my mom talked to the dentist about the payment and aftercare. Even after all that, I’m not afraid to visit the dentist. Just need to find a better one.
Felicia @ No Deposit Poker´s last blog post ..jymaster11 wins another big tournament at Full Tilt

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23 Dr. Joe :) August 31, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Felicia, sometimes a dentist means well but “bites off more than they can chew.” That’s an expression that means the situation is a much bigger challenge than expected.

I’m glad you didn’t start avoiding dentists after that incident. Some people do that – avoiding dentists and remaining stuck in a bad memory where they continue hanging on to that victim story as a reason for avoiding.

That’s the Path of Pain. They focus on pain from the distant past and keep avoiding the dentist. That almost guarantees more future pain.

Joe :D

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24 HarryIsFat October 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm

Wow, you must be well brave! I’m happy with that.

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25 Felicia @ No Deposit Poker September 2, 2010 at 3:06 am

Hi Dr. Joe, I’m glad too that I do not dwell much on the painful experiences in my life. I know there are things that a dentist does that hurt but as long as I sit on the dentist’s chair, I do not back out, thinking “It’s best to get this done and over with!” If I avoid dentists, then who would help me take care of my teeth? I certainly do not want my teeth to fall off one by one (I have a sweet tooth I don’t want to disappoint :) ) in the future just because of that one painful incident at the dentist’s.
Felicia @ No Deposit Poker´s last blog post ..Full Tilt Poker- Erik Sagstrom is not Din-Fru

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26 Tessa Dejohn September 4, 2010 at 10:10 am

Much appriciated it was indeed really a good post

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27 matt sanders September 9, 2010 at 10:06 am

i like when the dentist pokes me ;)

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28 Dr Joe :) September 9, 2010 at 10:38 am

Then you’re the only one Matt, the only one…

Joe :D

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29 Erica December 1, 2013 at 1:01 am

Me too. For some reason, I like the dentist and it’s like I’m the opposite of my parents.

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30 asd;lfuoai September 11, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I’ll get past the hate of dentists when dentists quit scamming my family. I’m so sick of these scumbags who do it with a smile and then hide in their office while they stick you with some bull bill that was inflated for insurance purposes. Oh, and love the doube billing. Our son had his general anesthesia covered by a state agency serving disabled persons, and then the dentist office charged us for the anesthesia, thinking they’d get paid twice. Then acted ‘surprised” and said it was clerical error when confronted.

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31 Dr Joe :) September 12, 2010 at 11:00 am

I can appreciate the challenges you face in raising a disabled child. All I can say is there are plenty of high-integrity dentists out there, and that billing mistakes can happen.

There are 2 kinds of upset people in a dental office – Pain People and Money People. I’m pretty sure you fit into the ladder group. Take the money issues away and you would probably be much happier about dentists.

Joe :D

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32 JJ March 26, 2013 at 9:22 am

Judgin by your answerrs Joe, you’re stuck in a story of your own The Dentists Always Mean Well and if Anything Bad Happens It’s Never Their Fault. You might have noticed that in the story told here, It’s the dentist who was stuck in the Money Story.

Maybe you’re a good dentist, I hope so for your patiuents’ sake.
But you’re stuck in Narrative /New Age Phraseology Mode and not listening to what people are telling you.
Not that helpful.
Use plain English, for pity’s sake!! Not everyone’s done the same course you have.

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33 lennie @ dental products September 20, 2010 at 4:55 am

What you have mentioned are also my reasons why I lack the motivation to go to the dentists, since I don’t know a dentist to whom I will trust. Nowadays that dental services becomes a business not a profession with the goal to give remedy to the teeth not to destroy it. I have friends who encountered dentists like that, that’s why going to the dentist is really not a good idea for me.

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34 home health aides October 2, 2010 at 1:20 am

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!

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35 mah jong online October 6, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I appreciate the honesty because it does calm patients down prior to treatment and dispells any mystery they may think is involved. Many pain management options are discussed and prehaps if treatment may not work what can be another plan of action.

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36 mah jong online October 6, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I trust Vets more then I do doctors. When they walk into work every morning they have to be prepared to treat a dog, a cat, a cockatiel, a frog, a snake, etc.

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37 dev@online mba in India October 19, 2010 at 8:02 am

I despise the dentist(female), especially the one my friend is so in love with. Too many bad experiences. I have plenty if you would like to hear!

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38 armil@dental care dallas January 17, 2011 at 5:49 am

Those were very true! Actually,while reading your list, I feel like, “oh I’m one of them” lol! But of all those things that you mention, its the number 10 that affects me the most. Yes, I know I can endure the pain but whenever that bad memory from childhood occurs, I feel really scared hat the same thing might happen again, but thanks that as I aged, i learn not to fear dentists anymore and realize that not all are like the one made a really bad service on me back then. Anyway, I like your blog, I can relate to it. :-)

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39 rain@dental clinic oklahoma city January 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm

hi Dr. Joe!
I must say that its a great list! lol! Those were the things that I often hear why they hate going to the dentists. How I wish there will be more cooperative and concern dentist like you who would want to do what their patients likes more…and not just doing a procedure like they don’t care. You know, sad to say there are few these days who’s working just for the money…and they are also the ones who makes really bad service and give a dentist a bad name…

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40 JJ March 26, 2013 at 9:25 am

Personally don’t care if they’re working for the money, it’s a business after all – Just do the great dentistry you’re charging for and look after your customers so they want to come back!!

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41 scaredycat51 April 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm

im only a kid but im fine with the dentist, except i hate going in the morning and have to walk in during the middle of class. i dont really enjoy it all but i would much rather do it than go sit on santa claus’ lap (im scared of him) i just dont like it when they put a movie on and you cant see cuz their heads in the way :)

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42 Jenna April 13, 2011 at 1:31 am

What I hate about my current dentist is I like him, hes very nice, but his assitant is belittling and rude, she reminds me of that crazy woman in Steven Kings “misery”..I got the feeling she got a kick out of seeing me with stuff in my mouth asking me all these questions and knowing I can’t speak. For this reason i have to find a new dentist.. She was rude to me in front him, he said nothing.. Not sure why he would hire someone like that. I actually have to go back to get some work done i paid for and im dreading seeing her and her being near me.

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43 HarryIsFat October 11, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I think that is disgusting. It’s bullying in a way and dental appointments are there to help your oral health, not make you stressed. I don’t like the dentist and I understand your concerns, even though I’m only 13

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44 Amelia June 2, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Great list.. Now if I could just find on that listed ways to get more affordable dental care…
I remember the old days where my parents paid for my dentistry, I liked my dentists! I had one that had this monitor where you could watch was was going on while he worked, somehow that made it more comforting because I knew exactly what he was doing.
The lecturing though… It’s gotten a little better since I’m older (They really laid it on when I was in my teens) but I usually know by the time I go to the dentist that I’m not taking care of my teeth the way I should be.

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45 HarryIsFat October 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm

God I hate going to the dentist. I have to go to the dreaded place in a couple of weeks. I’ve seen their drills, needles (aaarrrrggghhh) and other instruments of torture. I HATE THE LOOK OF THOSE NEEDLES!!!!!!!!! To me it seems dentist’s offices are like torture chambers. I hate it so much ’cause of the needles, THE NEEDLES!!!!!!!!!!

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46 JeannineRDA November 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm

HarryIsFat, today’s dental offices are designed to keep all of the “anxiety-producing” supplies and equipment out of sight, and dentists and staff members should strive to provide relaxing distractions for their patients (headphones & video screens, etc.). Also, the dentist should first discuss with the patient what his or her concerns are, including fears and axieties, and offer an appropriate solution such as various levels of sedation. Today’s dentistry is so incredibly different from even 15 years ago! Maybe you should find another dentist?

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47 HarryIsFat November 23, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Thanks! I can’t change dentists because I’m only 13, but next time I’ll take my iPod. Sedatives will be used in my next appointment, so I don’t have to worry about the needles. My next appointment is a tooth extraction. I’ve been terrified for weeks, but after reading your reply I feel much better!

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48 HarryIsFat December 8, 2011 at 11:52 am

The extraction was really painful and stressed me out so my parents are changing my dentist, thank God!

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49 Sarah @ dental hygiene programs November 4, 2011 at 2:25 am

Before I became a dental hygienist, I hated the dentist. I didn’t like the feeling of someone scraping a tool against my tooth. Since I had this fear myself, I can better treat my patients because I know what scares them and I can try to remedy the situation.

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50 JJ March 26, 2013 at 9:26 am

Good on you Sarah.

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51 Billy Skaggs November 17, 2011 at 3:45 am

Hi, I have not been to the dentist all that often in my life and I am 38 years old and soon to be 39 on the 25th of this month. I didn’t have a bad experience at any of the dentists or dental vans I have been to until yesterday which was 11-16-2011. I know I need all my teeth pulled and dentures put in, but I am not working and the state insurance doesn’t cover it. What happened today though is the dentist had to use the ” drill ” and the drill hurt sort of like a headache hurts but more tense than a headache. I had 6 teeth pulled and was given a prescription for pirocek or whatever name that is. I know that spelling is wrong, and I apologize for that. I don’t mind dentists, but I do mind most other doctors, as I was misdiagnosed for my ear for more than a decade. I ended up having a tumor behind my eardrum that came close to bursting but was found in time even though it was misdiagnosed for over a decade. I don’t feel much of my tooth pain in my mouth, I feel it in my ear I guess because that is just where I get pain most of the time. Anyway, why does the drill hurt so in my forehead? I went to the dentist pretty much 14 hours ago and have yet to take the meds he prescribed because my mouth isn’t hurting me at all, and I had 6 teeth pulled. Thank you for your time and sorry for such a long post.

Billy.

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52 Dr. Joe :) November 17, 2011 at 7:20 am

Hi Billy, hope you’re feeling OK after having those teeth out. The vibration of the drill is probably what triggered the sensation in your forehead. Sort of like those ice-cream headaches some people get from eating cold things.

I used to get shivers down my back all the way down to my toes from those old, rickety rope-driven drills dentists had back in the 60′s. I don’t miss that experience!

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53 Dave November 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm

The BEST reason far as i’m concerned about hating on dentist is the fact you can no longer set up a payment plan with any of them and they’re charging way to much to pull teeth. I can understand paying a high price if your getting braces to straighten out teeth or other procedures, but a $150 to $300 in rural poor areas come get real! I’d be willing to set up a recurring payment plan with a local dentist through my bank but nooo they won’t do a payment plan. bastards

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54 Light Yagami November 26, 2011 at 3:40 am

Brush your damn teeth and then you should not have to worry about half of the shi* written here.
Dirty people

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55 Dr. Joe :) November 26, 2011 at 7:29 am

I understand why you would think that way. That people who avoid dentists must be taking poor care of their teeth.

I find it’s not the case. Most people who hate dentists take very good care of their teeth because that helps them stay away from any trouble.

The highly anxious people I see are widely varied. Many had a bad childhood experience along the way that left them emotionally imprinted with a powerful fear response. They don’t want to feel that way, but that imprinting remains and is difficult to overcome. Not impossible, but difficult.

Another style of dentist-hater I see is the drama king/queen. These people love to hang onto negative stories and retell them over and over. They tightly hold onto their stories so they can continue maintaining their blameless victim position.

With any new dental experience, they seek to verify their story, not replace it with a happier one. They use drama as a distraction from responsibility or uncomfortable truths, and don’t want to let go of their old stories.

They’re stuck by choice.

Until they can move past the drama and let go of the old stories, they can’t move on.

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56 susan warner January 26, 2013 at 8:35 pm

I disagree. My hatred of dentists is perfectly valid and ingrained over and over by the dentists themselves. Im 48 and I approach all new people with the view that they are individuals and I give them plenty of chances to prove they are decent .
When it comes to dentists I have met only one who was honest about the things he could do for me and did not try to make money out of me.
I take care of my teeth and gums very well but at 16 my front tooth was damaged in an accident.
As a result I had to have a crown and it was that dentist, at the age of 18 who was and still is the only dentist I respect. From then on the dentists I have seen and had to have work done by have all had behaved like complete crooks.
They lie about the work I need on the crown, saying it had to be replaced when it didnt need to be removed at all. They say they are good at cosmetic dentistry to get the money but they arent any good and nor re their technicians. I was given a crown to replace my origianl crown that left me looking like Bugs Bunny.
The crown didnt need replacing, he lied to get the cash.
All dentists since the original one are rude, they keep their backs to me when I have entered the room.
They spend more time filling in forms thn treating me and this is true of all dentists. I have met more than ten in my search for a dentist who isnt rude, doesnt lie to me about their abilities and get me to spend money when the treatment isnt necssary.
Most dentists are greedy and very above themselves.One dentist I had to leave when she routinely overbooked me with other patients and always kept me waiting at least an hour beyond my appointment time.When I confronted her she said she wouldnt do it anymore so basically admitted she overbooked patients to make money.
They have sent me back into the waiting room after giving me an injection and treated someone else whilst my injection starts to work.
My current dentist refuses to clean my teeth as they are in such a good condition and said I will have to pay a hygienist £35 an hour to get them cleaned privately!!! She hasnt cleaned my teeth in three years.
One dentist actually had a stand up argument with me when I called him out on wanting to replace my crown because of a little bit of gum recession above it.
I knew and so did he that all he had to do was add a bit of cosmetic filler in there and harden it.
He actually agreed with me, after rowing with me, that it was the better option. Again, he saw pound signs.
Another dentist left me in agony after a filling and refused to gve me painkillers or to re examine the filling. After i complained to the head of the practice his colleague treated me and got rid of the pain for me in minutes. The colleague said the filling was infected and I should have been treated sooner.
I did get an apology from the original dentist, he did say that sometimes dentists need a telling off as they forget that they are treating people & just see teeth, but again, the damage was done.
I have zero trust in dentists as they all want to get rich, thats why they all wnat to do dental implant courses, so they can make more money and wreck peoples lives.

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57 Dr. Joe :) January 27, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Sorry to hear of your difficulties Susan. I can only speak of UK dentists as an outsider. Some of what you describe could be the remaining fallout from a long-standing National Health program. If the patient-as-customer relationship is missing, service and quality can suffer. And now, as private clinics become the norm, the pendulum can swing too far the other way to money-hungry (with no guarantees of better quality).

That’s why a properly run business, one that treats customers reverently and fairly, can totally dominate. You just have to find such a place, and accept that it may cost you a little more.

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58 JJ March 26, 2013 at 9:31 am

Hi Susan, I feel for you.
Incidentally while I have had bad filling experiences from several Australian private dentists, it was a British one that ground down a perfectly healthy tooth despite me telling her NOT to do it!!
I wonder how they are trained…I wonder how many patients she loses and yours lose…

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59 Nathan Woodbury@dental websites January 12, 2012 at 2:40 am

I just love dentist. Try to practice seeing your doctor every now and then, then see the difference.

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60 John Clark@Fiverr tips February 6, 2012 at 5:55 am

Well I completely agree, visit to a dentist is a necessary ‘evil’, If I may say so. Even when I have to go to them for a simple job like getting my teeth and gum cleaned, it never ceases to be an horrible and painful experience for me.
I just wish that this entire process becomes less painful and more comforting with the new technology.

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61 JJ March 26, 2013 at 9:32 am

Ther is actually some non-drill-based anaesthetic. Much more pleasant.

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62 Nan February 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I hate that every dentist I’ve gone to for 50+ years says the some part of the previous work was done wrong, and I need to have it redone. And it is all expensive! I am a confirmed dentistry skeptic. Where money is to be made, people–dentists included– are good at rationalizing/justifying what they claim. The schmuck in the chair doesn’t know, and getting 2-3 opinions won’t help. I’ve got more money in my mouth than any car I’ve owned, & I drive a Volvo.

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63 Marlo@Tucson Pediatric Dentist February 10, 2012 at 7:26 am

The most common reason was the needle and the cost. Most people specially the kids are afraid of it and the parents pocket are aching because of the cost of treatments. Oral health is important and dentists do their jobs to make us aware on how to prevent oral diseases. You gotta love the dentist.

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64 Dentarizea March 17, 2012 at 9:36 am

Nobody hates me… yet!

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65 Catalina May 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Thanks for your post! I feel much better!
I broke two brackets and I know what the dentist and assistands are gonna say… they’re over dramatic always. But I wanna finish my treatment.
Catalina´s last blog post ..How to Treat Her Right!

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66 Aussiemark June 3, 2012 at 4:25 am

In Australia, 83% of us are dentophobes (survey by Oral-B). With bad childhood experiences I have always hated the dentist, and now it’s more about the costs and anxiety of the expensive treatments I’ll need. I don’t trust dentists to keep the bills low, probably because they have to ‘keep the money flowing’ from us rather than building a relationship with us. We’re not patients, we’re cash cows !!

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67 timhole June 15, 2012 at 11:04 am

I’m not scared of dentists, I’m just sick of going to shit dentist. In Ireland and UK, there are so many cowboy dentists and just downright crap dentists that it’s hard to even want to go, knowing that they could ruin your mouth forever. I’d like some peace of mind that some crackpot isn’t going to do loads of unnecessary work on my mouth costing me thousands to fix.

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68 Dr. Joe :) June 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Well said Tim. What you want is risk reduction. Choosing a trusted advisor who will offer guidance and do good work. Ultimately, you want good health and the peace of mind that comes from having the well being of you and your loved ones in good hands.

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69 Patient June 23, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I had a bad experience with my dentist. He is rushed, spends hardly any time with me and is abrupt. I asked about a tooth I thought was chipped and he began to scrape the tooth aggressively with a metal instrument (not any gentle tapping) but aggressive scraping, like a dental hygienist gone postal. I wondered; is that how you check for a chipped tooth? He then said in a terse voice, ‘just normal wear and tear’. I felt bullied and he is supposed to be this good dentist with all this extra training. Once a dentist goes mean like that, never go back.

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70 Joe Island@Island of Cool July 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I’ve had some less than great dentists, but the one I have now is great. Still not a fan of going to the dentist’s office though! I think for me the worst part is the anticipation (the first needle thrust is up there too). Once things get going the end is in sight and it’s not that bad (still, not my favorite experience though!).

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71 Tanya from the US July 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Thank you for being the first dentist to understand that cost plays an important role in dental work!

Between a dentist ignoring decay under all my crowns, and a surgeon knocking several of my teeth up during surgery and cracking them I ended up needing 20,000 dollars in dental work. My (former) dentist couldn’t understand why that was out of my budget. I had to go with good enough, vs the absolute best, and a new dentsist who was creative enough to come up with solutions that were within my budget.

The hardest part for me is when a dentist implies you don’t care about your teeth if you can’t afford high prices. If I didn’t care about my teeth, I wouldn’t come get them cleaned every 6 months!

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72 Simon Yohe July 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Have you heard of DentalVibe? It provides Dentists ability to provide pain-free dental injections. The device uses micro-oscillations to the site where the injection will take place, and blocks the pain of the injection. The device and how it is worked based off “The Gate Control Theory of Pain”

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73 RM July 29, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I dislike dentists intensely! And I will tell you why. I have been misdiagnosed, lied to, taken advantage of, and in some cases I have been disrespected and treated with contempt! Not only by some dentists, but by their hired help! Furthermore, I have had the further displeasure of encountering dentists who care more about MAKING MONEY than what their patients can and cannot afford! The Dentists I dealt with could not or would not make a distinction between the two. Sorry, but I can’t help you people make money. I need some dental work, but I simply cannot afford it! Then again, when I saw Dentists in the past, they ignored me! They just continued to lecture me, and if I ever see another dentist again, I will no longer tolerate that crap! What is affordable to you people is not even remotely affordable to me! I had to start over recently by filing bankruptcy! And I have zero money to pay you people! You probably will not publish this, and that is your decision. Suffice it to say if I had the choice of being recalled to the Army and shipped off to Afghanistan to fight the taliban or seeing you people on a regular basis, I will gladly go to Afghanistan.

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74 Dr. Joe :) July 30, 2012 at 10:24 am

Over the years I’ve met many people hostile towards dentists, but it always comes down to two reasons… It’s either a fear-based issue or a money issue.

I get the feeling in your case that this is about the money.

If you suddenly inherited a fortune and finances were no longer a concern, how would you respond then? Lowest price probably wouldn’t be amongst your main criteria for choosing a dentist, and you might come to the realization that a dentist can be your ally, not your enemy.

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75 Melissa January 7, 2014 at 4:47 pm

Oh such a late reply, but I found this site today. I can respond to your scenario. If I suddenly inherited a fortune and finances were no longer a concern, I would STILL feel very put off by the attitudes and financial shell games I’ve seen.

The people I’ve encountered are very nice, and I did not get lectured. The work has been sound so far, without pain or undue stress.

The problem is that I started out with an upper molar where I’d chipped a cusp off. I knew there was likely some decay (I had been homeless for a bit and my teeth suffered).

First stop: Dentist. Yes, that tooth needs a root canal and probably a crown. Oh but our xrays show the corresponding lower molar doesn’t look good! There is a pinhole cavity and what looks like more decay. This will result in a likely second root canal, but let’s send you to the endontist.

Second stop: Endontist. We can’t do two root canals ($1150 each, btw) on the same day, but we’ll start on the upper. Hmmm our xrays show that this lower wisdom tooth is a problem. You’re going to need to schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon to get it pulled. No, we don’t know how much money that will be. Don’t you have dental insurance? (As an aside, dental insurance would have covered the first $1500… so no… it’s a scam and I do not have it.) One of my roots in that tooth needed to be slathered in medication, though, so she didn’t finish the root canal. I need to come back later.

So right now, I have appointments for Thursday (today is Tuesday), Saturday, and next week I need to see an oral surgeon, and in a week or two after that it’s back to the dentist for crowns. I will be missing almost an entire day’s work this week, and I am hoping to only miss next Friday for the extraction of my wisdom tooth. When it is all said and done I will likely be out almost $10k.

But why don’t I love the dentist? Hmm.

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76 susan warner January 26, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Lol, totally agree with you. Iv seen many dentists and they are all rude and their denatl nurses are so snoty and offhand.
I too have been lied to and treated like a total idiot.
Read my post.
I could write a flipping book about dentists. I dspise them with a vengeance.

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77 Neza@toothpaste brands August 19, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Super sayings!!! Excellent blog for my teeth…. Some dentist are no unkind :(

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78 Dental Practice Sales September 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I have to agree to the reasons why people may hate dentist and not want to go, either out of fear or money concerns. Also you have to find the right dentist that makes you feel comfortable in a not so comfortable way.

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79 joe October 16, 2012 at 2:35 am

you forgot to mention “the dishonesty”… MOST dentist’s #1 priority is MONEY… they do procedures that are not necessary all the time… they’ll do a poor job on purpose just so that you have to come back and pay to have it done again… the list goes on and on… I have gone to the best dentists in the best zip codes who are board certified and paid the highest prices thinking that I was getting top quality service… those are the ones who did the shoddiest work of all… but the chain dental clinics are no better… and don’t forget about the mercury poison lie they’ve been telling us for years… and another thing: when I go to a medical doctor for a specific problem, that’s what they treat me for for… they don’t examine every part of your body to see what else is wrong that they can charge for… but dentist do; they make up a whole list… “just fix the problem I’ve presented today” I’ll deal with my other issues when it’s right for ME… every dentist I’ve ever been to is a lying crook who can’t be trusted… Reader’s Digest even did a under cover sting and found that 85% of dentist proscribe treatment that isn’t necessary…!!!! ok so maybe 15% are honest, however, that doesn’t mean that they’re good at what they do or competent… in most cases they’re not….

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80 Dr. Joe :) October 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Thanks for your comments Joe. I can appreciate your sentiments, though I also happen to know a lot of dentists, and as a whole they’re a pretty conscientious group. Extremely so, in fact.

Will there be some bad apples in the bunch? Yes. As with any profession, you can come across some dubious characters.

Is dentistry expensive? Yes. And neglect sucks because sooner or later you’ll pay a heavy price.

Is your current situation the result of bad dentistry or years of high sugar consumption, poor oral health habits and dental neglect? In most cases, it’s not about the dentistry… and it’s surprising how many people are quick to blame dentists when it’s their own damn fault for the state they’re in.

With the current economy, there might very well be a lot of hungry dentists out there eager to turn your problems into their profit. All I can say is that those that chase money, will find less of it. To quote the late, great Jim Rohn, “Success is something you attract by the person you become.”

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81 Jeff M. October 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Dr. Joe,

My biggest fear is the needle. I have Trypanophobia, which is a fear of hypodermic needles. The smells, the sound of the drill, none of that really bothers me. I don’t mind getting my teeth cleaned. The oral hygienist cleans my teeth and then the dentist comes in to examine my teeth. That’s when the anxiety starts for me, because I’m worried that he’ll find a cavity. I’ve had a few cavities filled with the air abrasion drill, and that wasn’t bad. No needles! And when my dentist wasn’t able to fill a cavity with the air abrasion drill because of where the cavity was located, I opted for no “freezing” because of my phobia. The cavity was very small and I only felt a tiny bit of pain, or sensitivity.

So, my question is this: Why do dentists continue to use 100 year old “technology”, as in needles? You can’t tell me that 50 or 100 years from now dentists will STILL be using needles to “freeze” our mouths! I find it difficult to believe that better, modern technology hasn’t replaced the painful, terrifying needle already!

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82 Jeff M. October 23, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I forgot to add that I take very good care of my teeth. I brush 5 times a day and 90% of the time during the 6 month period between checkups, I floss and then rinse with mouthwash. Yes, though I have a fear of needles, I still visit the dentist once every 6 months.

I do not hate my dentist, or all dentists in general. You have an important job and are every bit of a doctor as a surgeon, general practitioner, internist, etc. It’s just that my fear of needles can be overpowering, and I feel that technology is not keeping up with the times. Yes, I know that dentistry has come a long way, even over the past 20-30 years. But the needle seems to be an outdated instrument. There must be a better way of “freezing” out there!

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83 Jeff M. October 23, 2012 at 10:46 pm

I just found something on the internet about a device called the Dentalvibe. It has something to do with the Gate Control Theory. It’s a little complex to explain here, but if you really hate the sting of the needle at the dentist, this may be the answer! Google it and see what you think.

I don’t believe that my dentist uses the Dentalvibe. I may have to find a new dentist who does!

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84 Dr. Joe :) October 24, 2012 at 11:09 am

Jeff, you bring up some interesting points and you’re not alone in dreading the injection component of dentistry.

Yes, the DentalVibe helps to reduce the sensation of the injection. I use something similar called the Comfort Control Syringe, which adds vibration and controlled flow. The use of topical and pre-warming the anaesthetic also help reduce any sensation. For a lot of people, the injection represents the “moment of truth” when they decide if you’re a good dentist or not.

It certainly would be wonderful to have alternatives to invasive injections. Some dentists use hypnotherapy.

I did demo a device many years back that gave electrical impulses to block pain sensations instead of using local anaesthetic. I served as the patient and it was very disconcerting in that any little motion of my head could temporarily interrupt the electrical impulse and as it returned I experienced a powerful jolt of electricity. Not a nice feeling!

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85 Jeff M. October 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm

About 15-20 years ago I had a cavity in one of my bottom right molars, and when my dentist gave me the shot in the gum, it felt as if he jabbed me with an ice pick! It was THEE worst experience that I’ve had so far with getting a shot in the mouth, and I think because of that, it’s made me even more fearful. That’s why I was pretty excited last night when I stumbled upon the information on the DentalVibe.

Is the device referred to as “The Wand” what the Comfort Control Syringe is, Dr. Joe? I’m not sure if my dentist even has that! He’s been a dentist for 40 years and seems to keep up with technology (like the air abrasion drill, for example), but if he doesn’t even have The Wand or, now, the DentalVibe, then maybe I should consider finding a dentist who does use these latest products.

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86 Dr. Joe :) October 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Amazing how a memory like that can stay with you. It’s a primitive self-defense mechanism called emotional imprinting – designed to protect you from repeating dangerous experiences.

The Comfort Control device is different from the Wand (I used to use that one). It has hand control rather than a foot-petal and there’s a lot less waste created, which always bothered me with the Wand.

Anyways, I don’t think you should risk switching for that Jeff. Try to convince your dentist to make a change rather than making a switch. A lot of dentists don’t realize the value of using an injection system because they’re not looking at the situation through a patient’s eyes.

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87 Jeff M. October 25, 2012 at 12:13 am

I’ve been going to that dentist for 20 years and my next appointment is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We’ve had a good relationship so far. My wife’s been going to him since she was a kid. But I am anxious to find out if he has the DentalVibe and/or The Wand. I’ll have to ask the gal who’ll be cleaning my teeth.

88 JJ March 26, 2013 at 9:38 am

Some dentists are very subtle in the way they use the needle – there may be a tiny bit of pain but it’s still a comfotable experience. Others have the touch of a tractor in mud.

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89 Dentist@Raritan Dentist November 3, 2012 at 11:03 pm

I think that dental fees are fair… at least here in my office.

Often times I hear that dentists are overpriced and we’re here to take away money from the patients we treat. Little do people know is that the overhead in a standard dental practice is pretty high and the fees are used to pay for that overhead.

Most dentists are small businesses and don’t a steady salary or wage to live on. Only after the staff, rent, equipment, supplies, etc have been paid for… then the dentist is paid.
Dentist@Raritan Dentist´s last blog post ..About us

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90 Sage Gallo November 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I think the negative people on this website need to take their rotted out teeth and terrible attitudes somewhere else.
I absolutely loved the dentist. This could be entirely because I have always been obsessed with taking care of my teeth; therefore, I have never had any serious issues. I also do not fear needles. I don’t understand this huge fear of dentists only because a lot of dental issues can be prevented I’d think. We grew up quite poor yet maintained good dental hygiene. My teeth are such a prioroty to me that even if I had serious problems I would suck up the pain and costs and let the professionals take care of my teeth as necessary. If you are not taking care of your teeth as instructed, yet you do not want rotted out teeth that fall out or infections then I say love your dentist AND hygienists because YOU clearly are the problem.
Although there are people in ALL professions that take advantage of people I have never encountered a dentist I thought was trying to rip me off. Again, I give myself credit that I question the hygienist and dentist and I am actively invloved in the treatment. I educate myself…afterall it is MY mouth.
LASTLY, I think it is extremely disrespectful to come on this website to bash this Dr after the VERY difficult schooling he went through to become a dentist. I’ll bet money you could not survive the first week.

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91 Dr. Joe :) November 5, 2012 at 7:32 am

Sage, I appreciate you “blowing the whistle” on the blamers and complainers out there who fail to take care of themselves and continue putting the burden of responsibility for their avoidable misfortunes onto others.

Yet, I don’t often meet such people. The ones I see are trying hard to take care of themselves, but avoid dentists because they’re (1) terrified (2) financially challenged (3) embarrassed about their fear, condition and financial situation.

Empathy and understanding can help them overcome the hurdle of going to a dentist, and get their health back on track.

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92 Melissa January 7, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Eh as I mentioned, I came here after a search, so I am late to the party… but I do take exception to the phrase “financially challenged.”

Let’s say you make $50k/year. Let’s even say that is after taxes. Let’s also say you work a 40-hour week, like most folks. Now, let’s say you’re going to wind up owing $10k for dental work, like I currently do. I want you to think about an entire work day. That Monday where you have to slog in after a weekend, or just aren’t feeling well, but you have to drag yourself in. The eight long hours that drag by. The problems — and no, every day is not a problem, but some are — that make you very glad when those eight hours end.

I want you to think about *every* Monday throughout an entire year. Do you have that image squarely in your mind? Good. Now I want you to say “I would gladly work for free every single Monday for an entire year to have two crowns put in.” How good does that sound? And that’s someone at $50k/year after taxes, which is not impoverished. If the person makes half of that? Two days per week instead of one. That isn’t a challenge. It’s ridiculous.

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93 lola November 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm

How about when you go to have a tooth extracted and the tooth beside it restored and you dentist decides to change the procedure without you agreeing to it. Orginally the back molar on the bottom was to be extracted and the one beside it was to have a resin composite as a form of restoration. I knew this ahead of time so it was fine. My dentist while still acting as if he was resurfacing my tooth decided to open the canals and then tell the dental assistant we need to do an emergency root canal. It is my understanding that before performing any dental work you are to inform the patient and ask if they agree with having it done. He elected to do this without my consent do I have the right to address it. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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94 Dr. Joe :) November 16, 2012 at 7:46 am

A deep cavity can become a root canal scenario if the decay spreads deep enough.

The procedure of choice for a deep cavity that is potentially a root canal is a temporary filling made of zinc oxide and eugenol (oil of cloves). The temporary filling disinfects the cavity area and calms the nerve down. Root canal treatment can often be avoided this way. I would typically leave the temporary in for one month or longer, then replacing it with a permanent restoration.

The goal is to preserve healthy teeth structure with the least amount of dentistry. Root canal therapy is not a conservative procedure, nor is the core and crown required to restore the tooth afterwards.

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95 lola November 16, 2012 at 8:46 am

Thank you for that information. But did he have the right to do the root canal without me agreeing to it ?

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96 Dr. Joe :) November 26, 2012 at 7:43 am

The word “right” doesn’t really apply here. Did he need your permission before doing the root canal? The answer is yes. We call it informed consent.

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97 lola November 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Well with that being said he never received my permission. I do thank you for answering my question to a degree but feel like you go out your way to evade answering the question I’m posing in it’s entirety. I love the blog though. : )

98 Paul Wilson November 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm

I hate and despise the Whole industry of Dentistry. I am 64 years old and I have seen many dentists. They have this thing about fixing your cary by drilling infinitely deep and infinitely wide when not necessary. This little trick alows then residual income to come back when the tooth breaks and you need a root canal plus a post and crown ($2,800). It’s like giving yourself a bonus! I presently have three broken teeth because of this and I refuse to see any Dentist until I need to or an infection starts then I will have them pulled for $80.00 each. I wouldn’t call myself a Professional, that would be a misnomer. My daughter in Calgary has a small fracture in an upper tooth and they want to root canal, post and crown the whole thing. No assurance that the whole tooth later won’t crack even more and will have to pull it anyways. This whole industry need to be better regulated, and not by themselves. They are self-serving and really are not interested in reputation and/or service to the general public…ther’re really pathethic.

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99 Bruce November 24, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Wow! Unfortunately this is the type of individual dentists have to deal with on occasion. I would imagine the word dentistry could be replaced by law, medicine, mechanic, etc…
The idea of blaming a broken tooth on the dentist is absurd and this entire paragraph is riddled with uneducated and uninformed garbage. The irony is the dental profession is regulated by non-dentists, public individuals, lawyers and dentists who answer to the health minister. Never at any other time has the profession been so regulated and public safety foremost.
The fact of the matter is 99% of dentists just want to genuinely help their patients and hopefully have big enough shoulders to fend off the occasional abuse they get from clowns like this guy.lol

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100 JJ March 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

he did not blame the broken tooth on the dentist . he said they do more work on it than is necessary. Some people really need to increase their comprehension skills…

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101 Jeff M. November 27, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Concerning the Dentalvibe, my nephew’s fiance works as a dental hygienist, and I asked her recently if she was familiar with this device. She said yes and that it doesn’t work, that it’s a psychological thing, that it doesn’t take the pain/sting away at all. Needless to say I was disappointed, since I was thinking before this that maybe my fear of needles at the dentist would be a thing of the past.

I understand that there needs to be some sort of nerve block, etc., in order to fill deep cavities, pull a tooth or do a root canal. But it just seems like with today’s technology the needle would be a thing of the past and that a device such as the Dentalvibe would work.

Back to Square One!

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102 Laurel December 5, 2012 at 4:24 am

I completely agree on all of these fronts. Fortunately, I’ve never had a dentist act abrasive with me before. It’s always the hygienists. Getting my teeth cleaned is always a harrowing experience because they’re not very gentle at all, and they speak harshly.

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103 Larissa December 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Hi Dr. Joe,
I have a small cavity in the second last tooth in the upper left section and I am getting it fixed after the holidays. It was an old filling that broke off. I was wondering what kind of filling you think is best? I don’t have any dental insurance and I am not even sure if freezing is covered in the estimate they gave me (somehow I don’t think so). So this information will help me make a better decision on what is best for my teeth. I heard different views on the silver fillings and the tooth-coloured ones and I am still undecided. Thank you for your time. :)

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104 Dr. Joe :) December 12, 2012 at 7:39 am

Hi Larissa. I’ve never heard of freezing being extra cost, so don’t worry about that part.

Regarding materials, you have 4 choices:
1. composite resin (white fillings)
2. mercury-amalgam
3. porcelain
4. cast metal (gold)

If the filling is small, composite resin works well (I stopped using those mercury fillings years ago). If the filling is quite large, go with the porcelain or cast metal. It will be more expensive, but well worth it in the long run.

Good luck Larissa.

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105 Ykima Kanut December 19, 2012 at 3:22 am

My 92 year old father was just charged $50 for a paper photo copy of a x ray that he had paid $295 for. WTF.

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106 Dr. Joe :) December 21, 2012 at 7:25 am

I’m trying to fill in the blanks on why such a thing could happen to your dad. It probably comes down to people blindly following profit-driven protocols instead of people-driven ones. After all, isn’t health care supposed to be about people taking care of people?

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107 Hannah December 25, 2012 at 4:46 pm

I’m terrified of the dentist because i had a terrible dentist. I have a sugar addiction but i brush twice/three times a day and use mouth wash. I noticed my back molars were discolouring (decay?) so i asked him to look at them. He waved me away. After horrendous pain in a top tooth that he seemed to think was “ok” i found myself a new dentist. Turns out he knew who my dentist was before i said his name as he neglected a lot of people. He neglected my teeth so badly i needed a root canal (which caused a panic attack for me right there) and four fillings. I’ve had all the fillings (white) which wasn’t so bad. My new dentist seems nice and quite patient with me. I had my root canal which was awful. I am squeamish and shut my eyes so tightly. I needed two treatments. My tooth was pretty damaged. My gum still feels sensitive at the top now though and a little different to the other side even though he has taken an x-ray and checked my teeth since then and has said nothing about it. I bit into a pizza and a bit of the reconstruction of my tooth chipped off which panicked m but dos not hurt at all or affect my bite. I’m assuming hr will fix that on my next check up?
I’m so terrified of the dentist but i still go! I absolutely can’t ever have a teeth removed, the thought haunts me. I’m scared that i had a root canal although the tooth causes me no pain now whatsoever. My dentist didn’t charge me for my root canal or fillings: he said because i’m a student and because he’s sorry that i was treated terribly by a lazy dentist. Sorry for the long post! Sometimes i think i’m cursed with weak teeth as i brush my teeth loads, use mouthwash and floss but nope! :(

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108 Jennifer Grashorn December 31, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Great article. You seem very down to earth and you “get” why people are afraid of the dentist. Nothing is worse than a dentist who blows off your anxieties like its no big deal. I hate going to the dentist because I suffer from panic attacks. One little story about the dental drill falling down a patients throat will throw me over the edge. I like my dentist though, he is kind and caring and that is really important. You seem in touch with your patients. Good for you!

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109 peter January 9, 2013 at 4:35 am

I hate dentists because they put the second most toxic poison in the world in my mouth without telling me. This mercury amalgam badly corroded my upper teeth and the whole situation caused me a lot of pain and suffering and time off work. Dentistry owes no duty of care to the patient what a priviledged position to be in Imagine going to a mechanic and him saying i will work on the car but i take no responsibility for what the outcome of my work is it just doesnt happen like that in any professions.Eat healthy foods, avoid lollies and soft drinks and you can give these lowlifes a wide berth. They are really only interested in getting your money anyway!!!!!

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110 MrRudy January 9, 2013 at 6:40 pm

My only gripe with dentists are when they encounter a person with bad teeth or poor oral hygiene, the attitude that follows. The customer service goes right out of the window at that point and you are supposed to trust this person with your mouth. I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong, I respect what they do but what is the point of being a doctor if you only “want” to treat “healthy” people? What kind of care are the “sick” people supposed to receive then? And I’m talking about folks with insurance who just dislike going to the dentist for whatever reason. Who responds well to negativity? People aren’t educated in dental science and you’d be surprised who is more than willing to live with the pain rather than go head to head with a dentist whom they have respect for but doesn’t explain themselves well.

That’s about it.

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111 Dr. Joe :) January 21, 2013 at 10:14 am

You make some good points. People with dental needs who still don’t go to the dentist usually have one of these two reasons:

(1) Fear.

(2) Money.

Except they may not come right out and say it clearly. Layered on top of those reasons are the stories people tell. And these stories always come down to why it somebody else’s fault and not their own.

The story for fear and the story for money are distinctly different. I agree that most dentists can’t explain themselves well, but that part about someone living in pain because dentists are poor communicators? That’s a money story.

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112 Penny January 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Tommorow I have 3 fillings… Terrified!! Of the injections, that is. They hurt like hell, that my body goes stiff and I shake for ten mins. Why can’t they anaesethise properly BEFORE injection?

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113 Chris January 28, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Just curious… are most people commenting here in America or elsewhere? Living in Australia I had mainly GREAT dentists, they told me all costs upfront, recommended alternatives when I was concerned, explained the procedures, and with the health system in Australia I found it relatively affordable… Is there a difference in the way dentists are licensed or monitored in Australia compared to elsewhere where people are commenting from that maybe plays a part in this? Or perhaps I have just been lucky…

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114 JJ March 26, 2013 at 9:03 am

You’ve been lucky.

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115 FJA July 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm

Getting the costs upfront and learning about alternatives would be a dream.

Yes some of us are in the states, I always try to get that information but they seem to view me as uppity or high-maintenance when I do.

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116 Carole Heath January 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I went to my dentist recently as two of my crowns had fallen out. But the crowns were unable to be put back as the remaining teeth under the crowns had broken and were decayed. So to be on the safe side my dentist decided to remove the the two teeth as he said infection could happen. He removed them both and then cleaned my teeth scale and polish as it is called. I must say i never felt hardly anything at all except maybe the slight discomfort when he cleaned my teeth. But nothing to cpmplain about really. I am a private patient so the whole treatment was over £200 which is quite expensive i know. I had not been to the dentist for at least two years so i suppose i was lucky not to much work to be done. I can understand people who fear the dentist i myself had a bad experience once with an abcess under a crown and once the dentist removed the crown which was easy but she took over an hour to remove the remaining tooth most likely because of the abcess. Penny’s comment is quite common as i know people who say that the pain killing injection sometimes is worse than the treatment why the dentist do not numb the area before hand i am not sure. I don’t get that much pain with injections really maybe she could ask her dentist to numb the area to be treated before hand it must put her off going to the dentist as most people fear the dentist that i know.

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117 RArmyVet March 5, 2013 at 12:18 am

Frankly, if I had the choice of seeing a dentist on a regular basis or being recalled to the Army and shipped off to Afghanistan to fight the taliban, I will take my chances with the taliban. My history with dentists is mostly BAD, and unpleasant. I have been misdiagnosed, I have been lied to, I have been taken advantage of and I have been patronized, lectured and dictated to and ven treated with contempt now only by Dentists but their staffers as well. I estimate that I need about four thousand bucks worth of work, and I don’t have it. I filed bankruptcy last year, and my income went down. Sorry, I cannot help Dentists make money. They will continue to do that without my patronage.

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118 Dr. Joe :) March 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm

It unfortunate you’ve fallen into some hard financial times. And though I understand how easy it is to blame dentists for tooth troubles and the cost of dental care, we’re not your enemy. You need a new story and a promising new future. I hope you can find both.

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119 JJ March 26, 2013 at 9:01 am

No “Dr Joe” he needs a good dentist who gfgivesd a stuff about his teeth.

How dare you excuse your dentist brethren when they don’t do their job!

Doctors are the same, as are all professionals/builders etc.. You’ll try to soothe and patronise the people who come to you, deride their experiences and assume it’s always their fault. Nope – take a good look at you, your staff and the dentists who perform bad work. Get them out of the profession or refresh their training, listen to your customers and fix the problems.

Nobody expects perfection, but we do expect to be listened to, to have something fixed properly if it goes wrong and not to be patronised and charged for shoddy work.

Look at your answer, “Dr Joe” – “easy to blame dentists for tooth troubles”? No, he blamed dentists for the way they treated him, not for his tooth troubles.
(can’t even comprehend a basic paragraph…..)

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120 JJ March 26, 2013 at 8:55 am

You’re wrong – I hate specific dentists because they did shoddy or bad work and didn’t fix it.

One of mu most recent experiences was a “dentist” who did bad work, hacked a filling ina way I’ve never experienced before and would never wish to again and ground a tooth after I clearly told her I did not want her to do it. She ruined a perfectly good tooth and worsened my bite.

The only reason people hate dentists is because of dentists, so don’t try to avoid this. There are plenty of dentists who would better serve the world doing some office work and never touching dental equipment again, let alone an actual human being’s mouth.

Sure, there are some good ones and if you find one or more you’re lucky.

Oddly, the best dentist experiences I’ve had have been with community dentists
(public service-type dentists). Except for one, private dentists have been very hit and miss, mainly shoddy work or shoddy attitude.

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121 Dr. Joe :) March 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm

JJ, the reason for most dental problems has little to do with whether a past dentist was good or not. It’s because many people eat too much nasty stuff, don’t clean their teeth properly, squander their money on fun stuff, and avoid going to the dentist until they’re in agony. That’s how they get into so much trouble. And once they get a lousy start, they have a lot of negative momentum. Even if they clean up their act, so much damage is already done. They can also end up needing constant repair to old dental work.

The healthy crowd hardly needs dental care at all because they stay on a healthy path. The average slob neglects things to the point of destruction. When subsequent dental work is needed, the quality of work makes a difference. But that’s just treating the disease. What many people really need is to clean up their daily habits.

All too often, “blame the dentist” stories are symptomatic of victim-speak. It’s transferring responsibility to make things someone else’s fault. The best stories usually come from those whose lives are totally screwed up, because they habitually blame others instead of taking responsibility and taking appropriate action to fix things themselves. And as long as they keep holding onto those victim stories, they’ll remain stuck.

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122 GaryStein@DentistinHonolulu March 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Here is what my dentist did for me. I had gingivitis when I was 15 and it would have remained and gotten worse if my dentist didn’t give me advice on how to treat it. She said to simply brush at least twice a day (making sure to massage the outer and inner gums with gentle circular motions), floss once a day, and use mouthwash everyday. Within weeks the gingivitis was cured and my teeth, gums, and tongue, and roof of mouth were on their way to consistent oral health and resulted in very few future dental problems at each dental visit.

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123 ! May 4, 2013 at 2:48 am

I haven’t been to the dentist in like maybe 2 years and am scared to go back. my brother was there and was having his regular cleaning and the lady (didn’t really speak English) said that they needed to drill his tooth to see something, I am not really sure. well they drilled, to far I might add, and said he need a root canal. we showed his x-ray to someone we know knows about this stuff and she said he didn’t need one so he just got a permanent fill. I am also scared because my gum on my lower teeth is like going down and the crest gum protection isn’t working but I have only been using it for like a week and to me it looks like gingivitis but I don’t know. sometimes it sort of feels like my bottom teeth move but it could be my imagination or it might be because they are crooked. for the record I am only 13 and really scared for my teeth to fall out, especially in the prodigious society we like in these days. I even floss so I don’t know what else to do and really want to avoid the dentist. please don’t tell me I need to go to the dentist and all that crap, because my mom is trying to find one that won’t rip us off. do you have any ideas that might help because I really need answers, considering each night I think my gum is lowering, but it could just be me. btw its lowered in front and back.

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124 Dr. Joe :) May 8, 2013 at 8:00 pm

At age 13, your biggest threat is cavities from consuming too much sweets and drinking acidic-sweet beverages, not gum disease.You focus on the risk of going to a dentist, but choosing NOT to go to a dentist is the bigger risk.

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125 Tooks May 9, 2013 at 12:24 am

I have a dentist now that seems to complain when I ask him to give another shot because it was not enough or did not hit the correct area to numb it up. He says things like “I put enough in there already ” ,and then gives me the extra shot making me feel like shit. I am deciding if I should dump him.

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126 aliana June 4, 2013 at 10:02 am

I have to agree on the lecturing… I haven’t been in to a dentist since I left highscool other then going today because next week my insurance runs out. while I’m anxious as ever and it makes it hard to breathe, the thing I hate most is the fact that every time I leave I feel like the most horribly irresponsible person ever, I feel about 2 feet tall. The lectures last the entire time. and I know she’s trying to be helpful but to hear a constant stream of how everything I do is done wrong, and there’s even been times where there were blatant insults when I was in highschool. Things like “your mouth looks like an old persons, you need to floss more and brush better.” Nobody wants to feel like the disobedient child being disciplined by mommy. but I always do. I end up crying every time I leave. I just never realized I had the option to say something. I thought it was just what happens. Today when I go I will try my best to speak up, even though I’m scared.

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127 Dr. Joe :) June 4, 2013 at 10:27 am

I really appreciate you sharing Aliana. I don’t think hygienists and doctors realize how unsupportive they’re being when they focus only on what’s wrong and smugly vomit their knowledge all over people. People don’t want to verbally punished like that.

When you speak up, they may not be willing to realize their way of “educating” is mostly counter-productive. They may instead see you as a “problem” patient for daring to question their approach (which mirrors the uninspired way they were taught in hygiene/dental school).

Consider switching to someone who truly supports you in staying healthy. When you leave a dental office, you should be feeling energized and good about yourself.

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128 Adelaide June 14, 2013 at 9:02 pm

I hate the dentist because for one, I hate the smell of the place. As soon as you open the door a wave of that nauseating fluoride smell hits me and makes me want to run outside for a breath of fresh air. Second of all, I hate how they call you back but then leave the room and keep you waiting there for 25 minutes in a room with all white walls along with that awful smell and nothing to do. Then I hate it when they get frustrated with you for your lip or something and then be rough with you which is what she did with me. It was hard to control my lip when she had her fingers in my mouth…there was blood in my mouth afterward it was so gross and that’s the thing I hate about the dentist the most: the taste they leave in your mouth. I HATE IT. It tastes like blood and metal. They should give you a cup of water and let you rinse out your mouth. I don’t know if other people experience this because I go to the dentist to get braces tightened. I got chain braces put on Monday and they hurt so bad and they didn’t give me anything for the pain and they hurt more than my other braces so I looked up chain braces and they’re supposed to hurt more because they move your teeth more. They never give you any medication for your teeth…I thought they could. Can they?

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129 bigdikchris July 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm

OH YA they can give you some good ass medication. Your dentist is just being a dick

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130 Sally June 16, 2013 at 8:39 am

I loved the going to the dentist but after reading some horror books, it turns out I have nightmares. The following day when I woke up and brush my teeth I found that my teeth is shaky and when I shake it I bleeds so I am more that afraid to go to the dentist

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131 Tara June 27, 2013 at 10:59 am

I really need to get to the dentist for a cleaning – do you have any advice for choosing a good one in my area??

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132 FJA July 11, 2013 at 6:57 pm

They get really angry when I have questions. What I don’t like is the surprises.

The dentists who educate me and manage expectations well are the ones I like.

One pointed out a shadow above a tooth root (possible infection) on my x-ray as one to keep our eye on in the coming years. A few years later another dentist did a vitality test on that same tooth because of the shadow in the x-ray. It was like “aha” I was starting to see the big picture.

Another, as I was in denial about this molar that I thought could be saved, instead of saying “that will have to come out” she said “hmm…I’ll have to think about what we can do with this nightmare tooth: short roots, active cares, root canal, infection scars…it’s got four strikes against it.” The next week on my own I made an appointment with an oral surgeon for extraction and implant. She got me to accept the tooth was a goner.

This same dentist (who is incredibly popular and well-respected among her peers) got me to smile as widely as I could manage into a hand-held mirror and pointed out how great it looked to smile that widely, and if we could do composite whitening on the little stains on the back molars it would make for a really great mouth. It was an effective way to say every tooth matters, and it does (even though I did not go for the upsell right away.)

More recently, I’ve been frustrated with their obsession getting me to go for the whole treatment plan, which I understand is a part of their business. I had a visible cavity on an upper front tooth that I needed fixed for a job interview. None would listen to me, I needed it fixed asap so I could get a job to pay for the rest of my dental treatment. Instead they all rushed towards upselling me on expensive whitening. Hell-o! I have a brown spot on my front tooth, I will pay for the whitening down the road if you fix this brown spot.

Same with an implant – they wanted to be sure I’d come back for wisdom tooth surgery. OK, sure but I want the implant in place first before we remove more teeth. They wanted to remove all at the same time, even though it might mean I lose a perfectly healthy tooth in between.

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133 bigdikchris July 17, 2013 at 1:22 pm

I love my dentist cuz he gets me really high.

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134 Bob August 3, 2013 at 9:11 am

People hate dentists because they hold you hostage. You cannot have any many of social or business life without presentable teeth, and yet insurance never covers you properly. (Even if you are fortunate enough to have insurance.)

You either can pay, or suffer the embarrassment of bad teeth.

I had one dentist who was a true healer. He would always do everything he could to keep at least my front teeth presentable. I would hear him and his secretary argue about me and the charges he was giving me for the work he was doing. But he always told her that he understands my predicament and my inability to pay, and so he worked on me.

He truly deserved the title Doctor.

One visit I saw him looking ashen. I asked if he was ok, and he said that he was. I called next month for another visit and found that he passed away from a cancer that suddenly appeared and spread.

Most other dentists I’ve met are merely business people who take advantage of peoples insecurities for their personal profit.

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135 PATRICIA WARREN August 6, 2013 at 7:04 am

The fact that not all dentists are open on a Saturday is another issue. Not all employers are that understanding about appoinments that need to be taken in a working day. If you are working for an agency it’s not always possibe to take time off to attend an appointment or subsequent appointments it’s not always convenient or even paid. I have a fear of the dentist anyway but the stress of the money side of it does make it ten times worse. I need a front crown replaced very soon, I have left that longer than I should! but I dread it because I know other treatments might be suggested bumping the price right up. I will get there eventually but the feeling of being powerless is still very much real to me not only in my mouth but in my pocket too.

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136 bob strong August 16, 2013 at 11:25 am

Every six months I visit a dentist in Surrey. There’s no need to hate the dentist. Yes, they can be expensive, but they are so important to keeping your teeth healthy. It’s like a kid with pink eye. No kid wants eye drops, but that’s what they need to stay healthy.

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137 Extreme Fear August 16, 2013 at 12:53 pm

My fear issues are several… I have issues with IAB injections – every single time it causes pain after the numbness wears off. It lasts days… and hurts to the point where I literally go around holding my jaw shut. This causes trismus, and their advice? Just keep moving it even if it hurts. (I don’t know about anyone else, but I won’t do something that hurts!) It got to the point several times where I had to go back and they used tongue depressors to force my jaw back open. I have asked for PDL injections vice IAB and twice have had dentists ruin my trust by waiting until I was sedated and then doing IAB anyway. The second issue is I can’t handle the numbness itself… for years I went without LA at all and just Nitrous Oxide. I had a root canal done with no local… people don’t believe me, but the nitrous was enough… and I actually had no pain afterward like I usually do with the needle soreness. Nitrous does not work as well anymore for me now – So now I know I need some work again, and I am going to stress 3 things: Sedated as much as possible (IV with anterograde amnesia effect), NO IAB (in writitng) and no epi (I have had several issues with epi being injected into a vein which had bad consequences which I don’t care to repeat). No Epi will also mean the numbness will wear off quicker… I literally panic with the numbness to the point where I start chewing on my lips to get the feeling back sooner (subconsciously of course) and I have caused damage before almost needing stitches not realizing what I had done. I just need dentists to agree to those 3 things… but why do they act like I am trying to tell them how to do their job by asking for these 3 things, and then object simply because they feel I am attacking their knowledge or something, or to make a point. It’s like they WANT me to suffer. (yes, EVERY IAB injection causes post op soreness in my jaw… so I don’t want to ever feel it again, and yes the numb feeling must be gone by the time the sedation wears off – I have to have at least partial feeling back). My only other issue is if I wake up before the clamp is removed from my face (that holds the rubber dam) I regained awareness too soon before from IV sedation and the calmp was still on and I felt like if I got sick I would aspirate because there would be nowhere for the vomit to go… I get nauseous even with sedation – I’ll actually throw up without it. The clamp just makes me shudder. And they won’t do without it so as long as I stay in the amnesia state until they remove it that’s not as much an issue… but last time I tried IV they titrated with the drug that DIDN’T cause the amnesia… so that’s why it happened. I almost ripped it off my face and bolted. I think my fear is extreme and if I could go under GA and just have everything done in one go I’d be happy…. unfortunately no dentist would ever agree to routine dental work under GA. :(

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138 Tami Gleason August 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm

I have had alot of dental work done including crowns, fillings, crown lenghtenings and a horse accident which caused me to lose 2 front teeth back when I was in 8th grade.

I don’t have any type of “fear” going to the dentist. I am guessing that I have had some pretty good dentists in the past.

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139 Erica December 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm

You’re so lucky that you don’t get easily scare by all that dental work on you. If it was me, I would freak out and would hit myself with a wooden hammer until the whole procedure was done.

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140 Lyn web August 28, 2013 at 1:13 am

My dentist reminds me of the one in ghost town played by Ricky gervais ,he’s obnoxious and self absorbed.not very friendly,he did a terrific job of fixing my broken tooth,and his assistant is very nice and makes you feel comfortable,but he just intimidates me,to the point of finding a new dentist.

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141 L September 25, 2013 at 12:10 am

I’m not afraid of the dentist. I am afraid of the inadequate methods of treatment still used by dentistry today. Fillings often fall out, crack, or shrink when exposed to UV light, creating hollow spaces in which bacteria can thrive. A cavity is a bacterial infection and a medical concern. Quickly flushing the tooth with sterilizing liquid doesn’t seem like it works to fully rid the bacteria, as it isn’t uncommon for cavities to spread beneath the filling. Bacteria can remain in the tooth undetected for many years, and spread to other locations in the body causing disease.

I have experienced this myself. I’ve had a root canal and several filling treatments, majority of which were failures, as the cavity would continue to grow beneath or around the filling material after being filled. I have had dental pain, illness, weakness, and symptoms of infection in my head/face and sinus regions for four years with no diagnosis or solution. My health is steadily going downhill. Not a single dentist so far will take it seriously. I had an endodontist call me a hypochondriac. That they got so defensive and resorted to belittling me when I mentioned a simple connection between teeth and my health symptoms, it makes me wonder how many dentists are oblivious to the nature of the microbes in our teeth, and their ability to travel and become aggressive agitators in health. It seems like common sense to me, so I have no idea why it is so hard for some dentists to accept. Are they afraid to admit that current dentistry methods need revision?

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142 Cmk October 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm

#1 is the reason I don’t go to dentists. I average once every eight to ten years when the pain gets too bad to bear. Then, I get the hole filled with no anesthesia because I suffer from a needle phobia. I’ve also had a root canal with no anesthesia. Dentist told me that doing this to me scared him to nearly to death. I’ve had dentists refuse to work on me when I refused their needles. So now, I make an appointment to interview the dentist before I actually agree to letting them examine me. Any sign of disrespect or reluctance to do it my way or, based on my questions, the sense that they are only in it for the money and I’m out of there. Better for the dentist and better for me this way. It is really hard to get scheduling staff to understand that I want an interview appointment and not examination first. For me, the needle phobia is more painful than tooth pain. I am agitated anxious and upset for a week prior to a visit and I am angry and upset (PTSD)for at least a week after. Someone really needs to find a better way to numb people and deliver medicine than using hypodermic needles. Gas is my only friend only they won’t use gas to put you all the way out. Instead, they want to use – you guessed it – needles. So, my next biggest complaint is that dentists never seem to be able to get everything done in one sitting – exam and treatment. They make you come back over and over again. Not for me. My anxiety levels are so extreme and for many many days prior, if a Dentist requires more than one visit with me to treat me, they are also on my “do not call” list.

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143 Dr. Joe :) October 5, 2013 at 7:04 am

I appreciate you sharing with pure honesty CMK. The average person has no idea how difficult going to a dentist can be for someone such as yourself. And like you said, the average dentist isn’t able to accommodate you comfortably.

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144 Burnaby Dentist October 29, 2013 at 6:45 am

Even Doctors are having fear about maintaining their reputation locally. Very few patients are not having fear about the dentist and their work. They try to deliver preventive oriented dental care of the highest quality.

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145 Potato21 November 13, 2013 at 3:19 am

Top reason I hate dentists: they are mean, condescending, and tell me I’m a liar. I have an enamel deficiency. Most of my baby teeth were pulled out because of the extensive tooth decay. My adult teeth came in yellow. Every dentist appointment my entire life includes a list of my ten new cavities and the fillings that are pulling away from my teeth and need to be replaced. I have always needed more dental work than I can afford. I have never been able to eat hot or cold food. My teeth stain ridiculously fast. I have had to put up with stupid, mean comments my entire life. And most of them come from dentists. They insist I don’t brush my teeth, they say I’m making up a story, thdy give me brushing and flossing lessons like I’m 5 years old. And even worse they tell me how they can whiten my teeth and if I practice good oral hygene how they’ll stay white. Every dentist, every time. I never see the same dentist twice because the idea of it makes me cry. I’ve known my entire life that if I can’t afford to cap my teeth I’m going to lose them. My teeth can’t be whitened because it’s the enamel that makes them white, and I don’t have enamel. Now I have gum disease and most of my teeth are becoming loose. And guess what the dentist wants to do? That’s right she wants to max out my insurance and cap loose molars. Then she wants to whiten my teeth and have me spend 6 grand on orthodontics so I’ll have nice straight white teeth. Why do I hate dentists? Because every dentist I’ve every seen cares more about their damn pocketbook than me. Because they equate yellow teeth with poor hygene. Because of all the people who are mean and nasty to me because of my teeth dentists are the worst of the worst. I’m not the only person in the world with genetic enamel problems. Why are so many dentist so damn ignorant of the condition!!!!!!

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146 Dr. Joe :) November 13, 2013 at 7:23 am

I can appreciate your predicament and I wish I could give you better news. Not everyone gets to keep their teeth. Heroic efforts to save them can buy some time, but like you said, is the cost realistic? Despite best efforts, conventional dental care can be a losing battle for some people. But, as devastating as they may seem, there are far worse things that can happen in life.

I had someone in the other day and his teeth were a mess. He has been drinking large quantities of cola drinks and his hygiene is poor. For every case like yours, we see 100+ cases like his where poor diet and slacking on home care routines are the root cause. Before trying to save his teeth, he needs to get his act together. Otherwise, he might as well let them completely go and just have them all pulled out in a few years.

You have to decide if keeping your teeth is worth the fight and the cost. Then find a dentist who will support you so you can move past your victim story.

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147 daina November 21, 2013 at 4:42 pm

As someone else said, not everyone with tooth decay has bad dental hygiene habits! I wish more dentists (and people in general) were aware of that. I have been through a lot of cavities, and I brush & floss 2-3 times a day, along with using a waterpik, MI paste, remineralizing toothpastes & mouthwashes, etc. I also avoid sugar as much as possible and haven’t had a soft drink in over 10 years. If I drink or eat fruit, I make sure it’s in a blended drink, and drink it with a straw so it doesn’t touch my teeth. I’ve cut down on sticky carbohydrates like bread and pasta as well. I’ve also began using xylitol as a sweetener and sometimes use that after eating.

I also know people with terrible dental hygiene habits and terrible diets who, for some reason, don’t get any cavities and have white teeth.

I could explain all of this to the dentist, but it would take awhile to explain everything I do. Like the other poster, I just have weakened enamel. I lost some of my teeth enamel from metal braces when I was a kid. When your enamel isn’t strong, food sticks to the teeth and is much harder to remove. Even a waterpik and water flossing tool doesn’t remove all of the plaque for me. I have to use a dental pick every day to do a self cleaning on my teeth. I also use a magnified mirror with a bright light to make sure every tooth is clean and plaque-free. Some dentists may understand this, but many will first think you are a lazy person who eats junk food and drinks cola with every meal and doesn’t brush or floss enough.

I have also had fillings fall out a year or less after having them done, and had the dentist blame my hygiene habits for it. I don’t think that is the cause, because I am very obsessive about cleaning my teeth. I also rarely eat hard foods. But I have had a filling fall out while flossing.

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148 Mark Bradley December 25, 2013 at 2:42 am

Daina, My wife is the same way and yes we do not go to the dentist often because of the prohibitive costs. If we need to go to the hospital we can apply for free care but there is no such thing in dentistry! No money, no care. It’s as simple as that and I am on Social Security Disability and only make 13k a year! Where am I going to come up with 150 to 175 bucks a visit! Medicare does not cover dental health! So I am screwed just check my post for my situation.

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149 Caleb December 5, 2013 at 10:14 am

These are very true. There are so many misconceptions about dental visits that need to be explained.

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150 Eldon December 17, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Dr. Joe:
I’ve done some analysis of the dental industry and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Only 43% of the US population will see a dental professional in a year and that number has been constant for some time. The US population is growing at less than 1% a year, while dental professionals (dentists, assistants, hygienists) are growing at rates between 2%-4% a year. If this trend continues dental professionals will see fewer patients each year and that will result in lower average practice revenues and salaries. Within the overall health care sector, dentistry represents under 16% of the businesses, but less than 6% of the revenues. Dentistry needs to somehow engage the 57% of the people who don’t use professional dental services. Dentistry needs a marketing make-over, but it appears the organization that should be spearheading this is to involved in protectionist politics to do anything more then lament how society doesn’t value dentistry. The answer falls to the individual practice.

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151 Mark Bradley December 25, 2013 at 2:35 am

Well, where do I start? First when I was in the Marine Corps (USA) a Dentist decided to experiment on me by taking the teeth in front of my wisdom teeth because my wisdom teeth were coming in impacted. In other words they were growing into the side of my perfectly good molars so instead of pulling the wisdom teeth he just wanted to see if once he removed the teeth they were growing into, they would straighten out and grow right. They didn’t and they had to be pulled as well eventually. So now I have been taking several drug that cause DRY MOUTH for the severe pain in my back. My teeth all broke off or fell out. I went to an oral surgeon (a dentist on steroids) and he told me that this was as the result of the drugs I was taking. So I looked it up on the Dental Associations website and it appeared that he was right! So because I was taking these medications because of an injured back which was the result of an industrial accident then the workers compensation insurance should have paid for it. Wrong! The insurance company got another dentist to say that my teeth were not properly cared for because it had been a while since i had seen a dentist. Guess what, we have to pay for our dental visits and I do not have that kind of money to pay 150 to 175 dollars for one visit (I am on 13 grand a year disability. I am lucky to be paying my mortgage and taxes). So now I am stuck with a mouth full of jagged broken teeth that rip into my gums everytime I shut my mouth. So I walk along everyday in public with my mouth hanging open. This is just a gateway to sickness and derision. I hate my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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152 MAM January 22, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I can relate to poor service. My dental office in Boston doesn’t close during bad weather (and if you cancel less than a week ahead, even before a cleaning, you have to pay a hefty fine) but I still called to confirm and the voice message said they were open today. I left 2 hours early in a snowstorm to get there by 9 am–and they told me they had re-scheduled my appointment to 11:30. They e-mailed me at work last night after I left to let me know. I was at work all day yesterday but they never called me. I looked at the message log of phone calls made to me. They never called me, even after hours. Needless to say I find treatment like this is truly bad dental practice. I didn’t wait around for the 11:30 appointment. My dental phobia is flaring up big time.

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153 Hanako January 22, 2014 at 8:32 pm

I hate the dentist because of the pain. And what sucks for me is that I have braces, so the pain is maxed. I’m also kind of scared that one of their tools my cut my throat or something, because they sometimes lay their tools on my throat after I have the paper on, but they don’t realize it. (actually, I’m not scared of the dentist doing that, I’m just very protective of my throat)

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154 Caleb January 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Many people are scared to go to the dentist and some reasons are justifiable. But there is no reason to be scared of the dentist and it is so important for your oral health that you visit a dentist regularly.

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155 kim January 30, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Hi there Dr Joe,

Yes I am truly sick of the lectures – you are given two options -one expensive and the other not so… if you choose the not so expensive option then the lecture starts ….. really tired of it – Can the dentist just say “OK” the option I have requested and do it instead of tell me how ” I dont really like doing this option, its really not the way to go ….blah blah …. please stop making me feel I am a bad little girl for choosing the cheaper option – I have my reasons which I should not have to explain.

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156 Dr. Joe :) January 30, 2014 at 9:18 pm

Hi Kim. Sounds like you’re getting a typical crappy sales pitch. They give you information-heavy choices and expect you to make a decision… Then they shame you for your choice? Ouch!

Most dental offices completely suck at marketing, sales and leadership.

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157 lynda February 9, 2014 at 6:46 pm

you know the biggest problem with dentists is and its not the drill or needles or pain which I manage quite okay its the bad attitude im putting off going to my dentist even though I have a major problem with hot and cold foods and drink at present because he is not a polite person he is intimidating the only time he talks to me to tell me off I thought dentists were supposed to make you feel better not worse you go in with a problem and you hope to get a friendly smile of assurance things will get better but not my dentist hes rude sarcastic and unpleasant and he wonders why I don’t go to him often duh.

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158 lynda April 11, 2014 at 1:39 am

I reckon number 8 is my worst I hate being lectured and bossed by someone I’m going to for help I feel bad enough about my teeth without being told off like a naughty child

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