Common Excuses for Avoiding Dental Visits

added on: December 26, 2023

As a dentist in Shelby Township for over 25 years, I’ve seen a number of new patients of all ages who come with different issues and different reasons for their appointment. While we are welcoming of all new patients regardless of their need, it’s fairly common to see individuals who have delayed seeing a dentist for many years. Although common, the reasons can vary a great deal.

In some cases, it’s like “the dog ate my homework.” While teachers may not see that as a legitimate excuse, we’re open to whatever the reason is for their motivation to come in. When an individual makes the commitment to come into our Macomb County dental office, the obstacles that kept them from dentistry in the past are mere motivation to help them move forward to a positive outcome.

Below I’ve listed some typical reasons and the rationale that hopefully takes precedence in looking ahead. We’re proud to have a track record that results in patients who achieve healthy, confident smiles!

“My mouth is full of problems and I dread finding out how bad it is.”

This is typical. In dentistry, a “bombed out mouth” describes when a smile is burdened with cavities, missing or damaged teeth, overly crooked teeth, bleeding gums and bad breath (generally due to gum disease), and/or stained and discolored teeth. This is why we’re here! We want to help you and would never want a patient to feel we’re judging them for neglect. Every person is different and so many either delay or avoid dental care due to things we look far beyond. Our goal is to bring each individual up to a healthy oral state that enhances confidence and overall health (which I’ll address further on as you read.)

“I’m ‘scared to death’ in a dental chair.”

It is estimated that around 70% of Americans experience some level of dental fear or anxiety when it comes to going to a dentist. Although it doesn’t prevent all of them from receiving regular dental care or having necessary treatment to maintain a healthy smile, it does cause many to “back burner” their appointments. When regular dental check-ups are avoided or postponed, the risks for gum disease, cavities and tooth loss greatly increase. With any of these, nothing is going to self-repair. This means that the longer dental care is delayed, the more complex the problems become. And, this also means the expense and treatment time needed will become even more challenging. For many, the solution is our oral or I.V. sedation options. These are safely administered with the patient monitored throughout their care with advanced safety equipment. We also have a long-standing reputation for our gentle touch and making comfort a priority at every visit.

“I’m embarrassed that I can’t afford regular dental care.”

Everything is so expensive these days. We understand. However, the costs to prevent problems in the first place are much less than what is needed to repair problems, problems that may have easily been avoided with regular dental check-ups and early and minimal treatment. Here, in our Macomb County MI dental office, we believe that every individual is deserving of a healthy, confident smile. This is why we offer a number of easy payment options. These can be reviewed online at: Financial Options. Or, our Financial Coordinator is a warm, helpful resource for our patients. She is often able to arrange budget-friendly payment arrangements. You are welcome to call her or meet with her personally.

“I have a bad gag reflex.”

No one wants to feel embarrassed. I think we’ve all had moments in our lives that left us feeling awkward. At the dentist’s office, a patient who has a bad gag reflex is just that… a patient with a bad gag reflex. It’s not unusual or abnormal to your dental team here. This is something we know how to help patients with and, for some, they’ve been able to relax and overcome the urge, resulting in a more comfortable appointment start to finish.

“I wear dentures (or a partial) and it embarrasses me to have them taken out during an exam.”

For people who are missing teeth and have replaced them with a partial denture or a full denture, these appliances must come out for a dental exam. Adult tooth loss in the U.S. is so common that a whopping 69% of adults ages 35 – 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth. By the age of 50, adults are missing an average of 12 teeth and 26% of those between ages 65 – 74 have lost all their natural teeth. So, seeing a patient with a dental appliance is pretty common. Although we recommend tooth replacement through dental implants, we understand the individual preferences and support our patients with the exceptional care for which we’re known.

“I don’t have the time.”

Our Shelby Twp dental office features some of the most advanced technology in the industry today. This often helps to reduce treatment time, optimizes comfort and allows for the most conservative treatment plan possible. Additionally, we offer oral and IV sedation (“twilight sleep”). These ‘sleep dentistry‘ options often enable us to combine several appointments so patients can complete treatment in less time. With oral sedation, recovery is quick and most patients can resume normally within a few hours (with some cautions such as operating machinery, making legal decisions, etc.). Additionally, many people find that our modern techniques and comprehensive care environment can help in completing treatment in just a few visits; some are completed in just one or two.

With each new patient, we consider it an honor to having a role in achieving a healthy smile where our patients enjoy an environment of respect, comfort and true support for individual needs. If you are looking for a new dental ‘home,’ you may wish to begin with a free consultation. Just call 586-739-2155 or tap here. You may also like to get to know us through a brief video ‘Office Tour‘ as well as meeting me at: Meet Dr. Barbat



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Dr. Ban R. Barbat

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