Three Common Misconceptions about the Dental Office
Career Path : Dental Care
It’s no question that the dental office is one of the most misunderstood places in the world. There are misconceptions abound when people start thinking about teeth, and here are the three biggest culprits!
Misconception #1: It’s going to hurt
Painful experiences in the dentist’s chair have taken a powerful position in some individual’s lives, and they avoid the dentist at all costs, fearing that the same painful experience will repeat itself. The truth is, dentistry has come a long way in the past 20 to 30 years. Take a look at the following advances in modern dentistry and how they can provide a more pleasant visit to the dentist.
Sedation dentistry allows patients who “dread the drill” to remain relaxed and peaceful. With the ingestion of a pill, patients drift into sleep and remain sedated during painful procedures. “Conscious sedation” is one aspect of sedation dentistry; the dentist administers drugs that depress the central nervous system enough to relax the patient while still allowing him to understand and respond to verbal commands.
As part of modern dental assistant training, dentists and dental hygienists learn how to administer injections using a dental device that is computer-controlled and allows the flow of anesthesia to remain slow and constant, eliminating the pain often associated with traditional needle injections.
Certain chemical compounds known as “desensitizers” can be used on teeth that are particularly sensitive to air or touch. Desensitizers are applied to the teeth and provide a coating that makes teeth more comfortable during dental procedures. Research has shown that pain relief can be effective for up to four weeks.
Misconception #2: I won’t be able to afford a trip to the dentist without insurance
Many people are fortunate to have dental insurance through their employer, but if you don’t, other options are available. First, ask the insurance specialist at your dental office if they can set up a payment plan for you. If so, you may be able to finance procedures with monthly payments.
You can also call your local dental health association or health department and ask for a list of dental schools in your area. In many cases, students at these schools will provide free or low-cost dental care as part of their dental assistant training.
Another option for those who don’t carry dental insurance is to apply for a healthcare credit card that allows one to pay for out-of-pocket costs without a large upfront payment. The card can be used to pay for elective procedures such as tooth whitening treatments or more reparative needs, like dental implants. Deductibles and co-payments can also be placed on a healthcare card.
Misconception #3: I should take a trip to the dentist only when problems arise
It goes without saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and with dental issues, this is especially true. Most insurance plans cover at least two check-ups per year, as well as annual X-rays. Dental check-ups should include a medical and dental history, a complete oral exam, a flossing and cleaning, and fluoride treatments as required.
Visit the National Academy of Health and Business for more information on dental assistant training.