Dental Pain Tolerance & Dentistry for Softies

by Dr. Joe :) · 84 comments

You Don’t Need Nerves of Steel to Enjoy a Healthy Beautiful Smile

A few years back I did some volunteer dental work in remote villages near the resort town of Huatulco, Mexico.

Volunteer Dentistry in Mexico for Rotary

Volunteer Dentistry in Huatulco Mexico – It

Beautiful place. Beautiful people. Bad teeth.

Most of the people I saw had never been to a dentist before. Looking into their mouths indicated years of suffering. These people didn’t seem the type to ever complain about such things.

In fact they were great patients. No drama in the dental chair. No flinching at injections. Nothing.

What made them so calm and stoic in their manner?  My guess is the day-to-day challenges and hardships they endure. They don’t live pampered lives free of pain and inconvenience.

I found Dental Pain Management to be less of a concern down in Mexico. Overall, expectations and standard of care were  much lower.

We’re softies here…

Back here in Toronto, Dental Pain Management is at the top of my priorities.

What’s it mean?

My belief is that here in North America, many of us live a comfortable, sheltered existence. We’re far less tolerant of pain and hardship than those in other parts of the world.

We’re softies here…

Dental Pain Tolerance

We live a cushy life and our pain tolerance is lower. Particularly for our children.

Apparently there’s no urgency to grow up these days.

I take one look at my own children and I know this is true.

Now I came from a family of 8 children and compared to my father’s depression-era childhood, I had it pretty soft.

My father would tell those “Back when I was young…” stories about harder times. I do the same to my children and they roll their eyes.

I look at my 5 grown children and they’re living the life of Riley. My four older boys are now in their 20’s but still holding on to their teenage ways. Apparently there’s no urgency to grow up these days.

With a soft life, tolerance for pain is less.

Dental pain tolerance is practically zero and that’s understandable. Dental pain is nasty. Besides, people already hate dentists. They don’t need additional reasons on top of that.

Dentistry for Softies

Dental Care for softies

Are you a Softie about Dental Care?

If you have grown children still living in your basement, I can’t help you with that. Heck, I could use a few pointers myself.

What I can do is help you and your loved ones with comfortable dental care. Dentistry for softies.

Nowadays, comfortable dental care is the norm. Children can grow up today without fear of going to the dentist. Without the anxiety of expecting things to be difficult and uncomfortable. Adults can finally relax and let go of that anxiety they’ve been feeling for so long.

We’ll pamper you at Royal York Dental. We’ll make things easy for you. Gentle, comfortable dental care with all the modern conveniences.

Spa Dentistry? Perhaps that goes too far. After all, people want FAST dentistry so they can get back to the things they would rather be doing.

If I wanted a full spa experience I would go to the spa. Still, a little pampering at the dentist is always appreciated.

Fast, convenient, comfortable dental care – Dentistry for Softies – that’s what people want.

Stay healthy and keep smiling!

Signature for a Toronto Cosmetic Dentist.

Dr. Joe 🙂

Dr. Joe Bulger

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

Leave a Comment

{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Roxy June 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm


I totally agree with your theory that in North America we live pampered lives free of pain. With my parents being from the Caribbean, they too were tolerant of pain. Getting teeth pulled, to having serious dental work done overall was very common, and they had no real complaints per say. They dealt with their tooth aches as though it were another day! In North America with the slightest bit of pain, we panic.. (I too can be a victim at times). BUT, in truth, when I listen to the past painful dental experiences of my parents, I do see now why they are so grateful about their dental experiences in Canada. Finding a dental practice offering comfortable care is of utmost importance!

2 Khondoker July 4, 2010 at 10:00 am


You are so right Roxy. When I read dental articles I realize the Americans are so concerned about a little bit of pain!

3 aminul@San Antonio Dentist October 29, 2011 at 1:43 pm


Provably sedation dentistry is the only right dentistry for the Americans!

4 Jessica April December 3, 2012 at 7:49 am


I Agree! however the sedation Dentistry is a way you can feel more safe when you are dealing with your kid’s Oral conditions;btw the pain in many cases is obvious!

5 Emergency Dentists Grants Pass August 28, 2010 at 5:55 am


You are right. People in “poorer” areas are more tolerant of pain and hardships. We living in better circumstances are such babies, haha.

6 doromaner@natural sleep aid August 28, 2010 at 4:10 pm


Why is everbody so afraid of the dentist? A soft society.

7 Austin Dentist August 31, 2010 at 7:35 am


This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives in depth information. Thanks for this nice article. Good post…..Valuable information for all.

8 Respiratory Therapist September 5, 2010 at 6:14 pm


Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

9 El Cid Timeshare September 8, 2010 at 8:15 pm


how much for taking care of a growing wisdom tooth?

10 Jones @ dental products September 13, 2010 at 4:59 am


It is really true, since I was born with lots of hard experiences I believe that I can survive with toothache. I can bear all the aching since I am used to it, going to the dentist has never been my choice because it would just add up to my burden for I need to pay for the service. It was only then that I have realize that we should really take total care with out teeth because it is one of the most important parts of our body.

11 Dr Joe :) September 15, 2010 at 7:20 am


Thanks for your comments. Teeth as one of the most important parts? I think of them as one of the most vulnerable parts. Teeth are incredibly strong but our mouths are a hostile place. People keep bombarding their teeth with nasty beverages and sweet stuff.

Joe 😀

12 charlotte September 17, 2010 at 2:33 am


yeah on this note, we have to pay much attention to our teeth. coz having a good white teeth could help boost the self confidence of a person..

13 chloe September 17, 2010 at 2:35 am


I agree..teeth are one of the vulnerable part so they really need extra care..

14 teeth whitening September 17, 2010 at 2:38 am


Having a good teeth could help a person boost self confidence. On this note, every one must pay much attention to this. As you said, teeth as one of the most vulnerable parts.

15 Buzz Nabers September 27, 2010 at 11:42 am


Thanks for the post! It’s so interesting reading about all the different techniques in dentistry.

16 Jim@Tim Pickett April 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm


When I had crowded teeth it certainly lowered my confidence I agree with this post and braces were painful to wear for a while but I got used to it and now I couldn’t be happier.

17 Dental Care Michigan June 23, 2011 at 4:55 am


You have a great blog, and very educational for someone like me (I’m not a dentist, but I do love everything dental care) that isn’t as knowledgeable about the technical side of dentistry. The fact is, your blog could have probably trumped a few that were on my list. I’ll probably tweet this post soon…so stay tuned for that…hint hint…

18 jane@dentists in alpharetta July 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm


i never thought of going to the dentist as particularly painful. but i guess my gums bleed when they use the metal tools and when i had to get fillings, the Novocaine shots can definitely hurt. but i can’t imagine if i had exposed nerves from teeth rotted out and serious issues like that, i guess people just learn to live with it or maybe their body blocks out the pain to a certain extent?

19 copingdepression August 3, 2011 at 6:02 am


To avoid dental pain then take care of your teeth. Brush three times a day and floss everyday too. It is also best to get your teeth checked every 6 months.

20 Kate@Dental Implant Cost September 21, 2011 at 8:06 am


This is so true that dental problem is one of the biggest problem that most of the people have to gone through at a certain stage of his life. So it is on us to maintain our dental health healthy. Very good post.

21 Adam@how to tips and information October 2, 2011 at 11:02 am


I agree, it is important to be comfortable when you go to the dentist, but some places go to far and turn it into more of a “day at the spa”. Great read, thanks for posting!

22 dylan@Fort Collins Orthodontist October 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm


It is very important that kids are well acquainted in visiting the dentist to prevent anxiety and discomfort on their part hence; pleasant and frequent visits to the dentist will mean beautiful smiles.

23 K Radtke October 25, 2011 at 5:25 am


This is a great post. We are lucky to have the dental care that we do in Canada and the US.

24 mfairy October 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm


I’m not quite sure what niche I want to get into. I’m glad you article has provided me a couple good ideas. I’ll definitely bare down and figure out which areas to get into.

25 Translation Agency November 22, 2011 at 12:11 am


Well, if the teeth are healthy and good i don’t think that there is a need to visit the dentist then. Scaling made my teeth weak and sensitive i don’t suggest any one to go for it unless it is very necessary to.

26 interior Shutters November 23, 2011 at 6:07 am


Even though the teeth are healthy you must make it a habit to visit the dentist regularly so that if anything even tries to spoil your teeth you can know even befor things start happening.

27 flowers delivery in dublin November 24, 2011 at 5:29 am


Visiting the dentist to check in how healthy your teeth are is a very good habit if followed on regular basis. It should be the part of your routine at least once a month.

28 Matthews NC Orthodontist December 14, 2011 at 10:06 am


The Mayans are very stoic in nature and likely would tolerate pain well. I’m really glad that you went to assist those people. I’ve spent time in the area (oaxaca) and they are really wonderful people.

29 Heather Smith@dental website marketing December 23, 2011 at 3:56 am


Thanks for posting this kind of topic because i do hate dentist. I have a low pain tolerance and i don’t know what to do when my tooth starts to ache. It drives me crazy. Please do help me with my problem.

30 ed@Forfait Mobile January 9, 2012 at 4:58 pm


Having a good teeth could help a person boost self confidence. On this note, every one must pay much attention to this. As you said, teeth as one of the most vulnerable parts.

31 Dental Clinic Limerick January 10, 2012 at 2:45 am


This is a part of the body which is not completely protected by the daily practices to avoid the unwanted particles inside the mouth. First and foremost is to choose a right dentist where the dental practices are located. A dental health care is good which is fit to your schedule.

32 delux56 January 11, 2012 at 6:50 pm


To have healthy and white teeth you should treat your teeth with a proper care. With a regular brushing and a regular visit to your dentist. Like they say, prevention is better than cure.

33 Spruit@social work salary January 28, 2012 at 8:39 am


My girlfriend is absolutely terified of going to the dentist even though she rarely has any problems worth mentioning. She says it is not so much the pain of the treatment that freaks her out but the general atmosphere of the dentists office. Go figure…

34 Yousri Rifai@Health care January 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm


This post is very informative as it courage the people to take-care of the dental treatment what ever the pain is …thanks for sharing

35 Elliot Pearson@dental website February 8, 2012 at 6:02 am


that’s for me. No pain = no pain. I never workout too hard and do tai chi so I won’t have pain.

36 Alana@How To Become A Dentist April 2, 2012 at 3:29 am


This totally meets my experience. With pain in general and with dentists – it definitely takes more to ease the pain of procedures. Remarkably I’ve also been told that redheads tend to bleed more – particularly around child birth my doctor warned me ahead of time.

37 Matt@Muslim Dating April 8, 2012 at 6:08 am


People are overreacting to the ‘pain’ that you feel at the dentist? I think it’s gotten a little out of hand, really. The years of having horrible teeth and gums would be much more difficult to live with than an hour or so in a chair. Perhaps it’s me but I think this stereotype of hating dentists is really costing us our dental hygiene!


38 kindercare kindercare April 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm


Normally I do not learn article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thanks, very great article.

39 Steve April 30, 2012 at 7:03 am


Well I have to agree with your Dr.Joe. There is no doubt that we are softies but the worrying part is that people like from North America and other area’s of the world don’t realize how much of important these dentist and tooth caring is. Great job and great bit of information you have provided. I’ll sure to share this on Facebook.

40 children's Dentist May 10, 2012 at 8:22 pm


As you describe, Americans are often intolerant of dental pain. Children are taught at an early age that the dentist is a “scary” place. That is why pediatric dentists, who are trained specifically for children dental care, are so important. Children can have an enjoyable, positive experience at the dentist, changing children’s perspective of dentistry for the rest of their lives.

41 Michael@Tiling London May 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm


How i wish i could have your assitance now.
Ive had a crown fitted, but the dentist said it was 50/50 if the crown would be successful.
I work up this morning and i have a lump on the gum where the crown is fitted and it hurts 🙁

42 June 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm


I enjoy reading your posts, I cant stop reading them. I somewhat believe your theory about pain tolerance. Those who experienced hardships in life are much used to pain, so dental pain won’t shock them. It’s great that you aim to give a gentle and comfortable dental experience to all softies out there. Keep it up!

43 Stephanie@Dental Gloves July 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm


It’s wonderful that you are able to travel abroad and provide dental services to individuals that may never get help otherwise.

44 Dentiste le Havre July 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm


Avoiding dental pain isn’t such as difficult as long as you take care of your mouth !! Easy to tell but often hard to pratice for some people…

45 Noe Velasco July 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm


Excellent post. You know, another great way to ease the stress of a dentist visit is with laser technology. It’s a lot less painful and a lot less intimidating. Take a look at the latest article I wrote on the advantages of laser dentistry.

46 Krissy August 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm


My first dentist did pretty well in helping me overcome my fear of the dentist (which was the pain and the needles), but it wasn’t until my second dentist that I was really able to overcome it. I’ve found quite a few skilled dentists here in Boise. Yes, we North Americans are softies, but I think that in part comes from the fact that none of us have ever faced the pain of not having any dental work done ever. We haven’t lived with bad, infected teeth before. Our cavities get fixed almost immediately. Maybe if we had experienced bad teeth, we would find the pain of the dentist comparably more bearable, especially with the hope of having the cause of the pain solved. But I know that I am definitely a softy.

47 Dr. Neza August 9, 2012 at 8:41 pm


Yeah, I really liked your post. Actually, we can make our teeth healthy if we give them a few time regularly. we should to good dentist in every 2/3 months. And another important factor is using good toothpaste.

48 Farith Bell August 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm


This is interesting to see how these little patients stayed so calm! I totally agree, our childeren need to increase their pain tolerance.

49 Kristal Clear October 12, 2012 at 2:31 am


So true. I cant stand to see my child in pain. I dreaded taking my baby to the doctor when he was sick due to them needing to draw blood on several occasions. Props to you for helping those with less resources.

50 Emma Grave October 17, 2012 at 6:24 am


I do agree with you. Dental care is also a major part of our complete health care. Very often some people don’t take it seriously but this careless habit can become a dangerous thing in future. So a proper dental care is the must needed thing in our life.

51 Dr Tom November 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm


Dr. Joe. I like your blog. Dentistry is a great profession that I’m proud to be a part of. We create healthy happy smile for our patients. Its unfortunately people come in with fear or hate for the dentist either from hearing stories from other people or from a bad experience. I like working with people to overcome their fears and do my best to give them a positive experience for them to come back.

52 frogteeth November 14, 2012 at 3:41 am


North Americans are, indeed, pampered. In France, when I’ve had to visit the dentist to have a filling or something that could involve pain, my dentist really pushed the limit of pain management. She says she absolutely resorts to an extreme level before she feels compelled to administeri anti-pain injections. It’s not because she is a sadist (although I thought she was for many years!), it’s because she says that the medication used for numbing is actually quite unhealthy for people, in general. I must be American at-heart because I am seriously a wimp when it comes to pain. I ask her for the shot even before she begins working.

53 Elleven Dental Orthodontics Treatment March 21, 2013 at 9:31 am


Great site with useful information.Really worth reading it.

54 Out of This World Dentistry April 11, 2013 at 12:58 pm


I am amazed at people’s tolerance for pain in third world countries. It sounds some of them are just fine without a dentist!

55 Tate June 28, 2013 at 9:46 pm


I will be the first to admit that when it comes to pain tolerance, I chicken out pretty quickly. This is just something I need to get over.

56 Motivational Quotes August 10, 2013 at 6:04 am


WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for
dental pain

57 Michelle Isidor February 4, 2014 at 8:28 am


I agree, the more prone you are to pain, the tougher you become. Thank you for lending you’re time to less fortunate communities. I think dental surgeries should be provided for free to less privileged people.

58 haggardness December 9, 2015 at 9:42 am


Thanks for sharing your thoughts about dental pain. Regards

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