A 2015 study called “Why Do People Avoid Medical Care?” noted three broad categories of reasons, which boil down to: “It’ll get better on its own”; “I just don’t like doctors”; and “It’s a hassle and costs too much.”

This was an American study so the factor of cost does not apply to Canadian doctor visits. But it surely does for going to the dentist.  We all know about extra costs at the dentist’s, even for those with good dental plans.

But what is revealing in this study is the importance of “bad karma” to avoiding the medical visit. Many respondents to this study reported seeing the doctor was “humiliating”, “Kafkaesque”, “like the Spanish Inquisition”. They simply disliked the whole ball of wax: “the fear of bad news,  concerns about unnecessary procedures, communication issues, embarrassment, guilt, long wait times, and bad smells.”

So, in this context, let’s switch from the karma of the physician to that of the dentist. Does the karma get worse or better?

More to the point, can the dental professions change the karma of oral healthcare?



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