I hate the dentist and may end up losing all my teeth because I never go. But when I started thinking about it, I realized I am so embarrassed and uncomfortable in general when I go to the dentist, so I started down this thought process of who is the best dentist – a woman or a man? Maybe I need to start seeing a woman dentist because I cannot relax with a man. I need someone gentle and understanding. Maybe I’m completely wrong to use gender when trying to find the best dentist?
– Paulette in Canada
You have raised a very interesting question. Who is a better dentist, a woman or a man? Well, whatever the answer does not excuse you from not going to the dentist at all. You will end up with a dental emergency that could be very painful and very expensive if you don’t change the way you think about dentistry.
But for kicks, let’s explore the idea of how gender plays into dentistry. You have every right to have preferences when selecting the right dentist for you. According to the Journal of Dental Education (2008), there is a study that deems female dentists to be perceived to make a patient feel more relaxed in the chair. That is likely due to the idea of a woman being more compassionate and gentle in nature. But that doesn’t necessarily make someone the best dentist.
When selecting the best or most qualified dentist, you need to research a dentist’s credentials, including any accreditation or continuing education they have completed. Ask about cases similar to yours when you have a specific concern or issue that needs addressed.
Ultimately, you may be better inclined to contemplate what is truly keeping you away. Is it the dentist, a negative experience, or maybe a deep-seeded dental anxiety or fear of some sort. If these questions resonate with you in anyway, it may be in your best interest to look into sedation dentistry. Sedation has helped countless patients get back on track!
Whatever has kept you away, man or woman, dental fear, or some other reason, the best way to maintain optimum oral health is with regular, preventive cleanings and check-ups.
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD