By ASHLEY WELFORD-COSTELLOE
A visit to the dentist can be uncomfortable at best. Nobody likes to have another person’s hands in their mouth for long periods of time. Nobody wants another person to poke at their teeth with all those strange instruments. Then there are all those horror stories you see on television. Stories about dentists who had no idea what they were doing and ended up making the problem worse, didn’t use anesthetic during a surgical procedure or were generally unfriendly.
This alone would be enough to scare anyone out of going to the dentist. However, these stories are not as common as one might think. Believe it or not, the most unpleasant experiences most people have had with the dentist involve major surgery such as having wisdom teeth extracted.
“I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled out when I was 17, I believe,” said Tayla Uzun, a student in office admin-legal. “It was right after school so it wasn’t that bad but after the fact I looked like a chipmunk. I couldn’t eat anything. I had to have soups and Jell-O all the time. I would always put a warm towel over my face because it hurt so much.”
Alanna Dakin, a first-year student in human service foundations, had a similar story.
“I had to get my wisdom teeth out about two years ago. They put me to sleep and when I woke up I thought I was swallowing the gauze they put in my mouth. I was freaking out and yelling at the people in the office. But apparently I was just kind of loopy from the anesthesia.”
Another reason why some people may be afraid of the dentist is because they don’t know what to expect. Moushumi Choudhury is a student in the biotechnology technician program. An immigrant from Bangladesh, she’s never been to a dentist before so she had no bad experiences to speak of. However, she was in the process of looking for a dentist. Naturally, she was concerned about finding the right one.
Here are some tips for people who have never visited a dentist or are anxious about going to one due to bad experiences:
Check if there’s a dental school nearby. Dental schools are good sources for finding practising dentists.
Check for hospitals or health-care centres that provide dental services. The dentist in charge of those facilities may provide some good recommendations.
Ask an orthodontist if you know one. These specialists should be familiar with the kind of work referring dentists do.
Asking friends and family helps, too. Chances are they know a good dentist.
Finding a good dentist is not an easy task. But using the information provided above could help you in your search.