For those who don’t go to the dentist regularly, fear is a major factor (Chart 1). In Canada, fear prevents as many as 2 million adults from going to the dentist at all, and many more from being regular attenders. That works out to at least 200 adult Canadians per dental practice.

A British survey found that these fears are rooted in the following:

  • Finding a previously unknown health problem such as more decay around the crown – 69%
  • Phobia of drill and the needle – 52%
  • Bad childhood memory – 45%
  • Previous bad experience – 22%
  • Potential pain – 14%

And these phobias are not limited to dental procedures. Scaling and root planing is loathed too.

So what to do? Some advocate counseling. Some say sedate the patient.

How about treating the cause of poor oral health with a little brush, without pain?

Chart 1

 

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