Following a previous article outlining the recent BBC programme ‘The Truth about your teeth’ we took to social media to discuss why 5 million of you have not visited your dentist in ten years. It is important that we as a dental practice understand your reluctance. Our results are quite surprising. Oral health it seems is something people struggle is discuss. When asked outright very few people were willing to talk through their experiences, however, given the chance to reply to our questions anonymously, some light was shed. Addressing these concerns is important. How many can you relate to?
Negative past experience
During my teens I wore a brace, although I’m very glad that I have straight teeth now, at the time I found the whole process traumatic. My appointments were during school hours and as such I was required to visit alone. The receptionists at the practice were unfriendly and dentist himself seemed so impersonal. Once the braces were fit I was in agony with ulcers for weeks and, every time it came to tightening, about every six weeks, I would dread the days that followed. I felt as though my teeth were falling out and I would struggle to eat. Rather than be empathetic my dentist merely told me to ‘buck’ up and that it was character building. Without family support or a deeper understanding I struggled for the duration of the treatment. When the time came to have them removed and replaced with a retainer I refused to return, that was over 15 years ago and there is now a slight curve to my smile but I would not like to relive this experience again’ I haven’t seen a dentist since.
This extract from Charlotte* (anonymous responder name unknown) demonstrates how a negative cycle of association can take place. Unfortunately her story is common place. Here at Paul Lowe we encourage family involvement and preparation. While some dental procedures can be uncomfortable we will ensure you and your child are informed and offer guidance and support as well as a thorough explanation of the benefits and ways to manage any discomfort you may experience.
Concerns about cost
For some of the people we spoke to, cost was a major factor in their decision to avoid treatment. Paul* told us his concerns
‘I have a number of issues with my teeth and yet I only seem to seek help if the pain is too much, sometimes I just take painkillers for weeks to avoid making an appointment. I’m concerned that one procedure will lead to more and end up costing a lot of money. I know that the longer I leave it the more I will need doing and I just can’t face the bill at the end. I have a family to support and work full time but I’ve heard horror stories of mounting costs and there always seems to be something more pressing to pay for’
While the NHS offer free treatment to under 16s (19 in further education) and pregnant women, a number of people come to us concerned that they wont be able to meet the costs. There are a number of things we offer to ease this pressure.
- We will explain the difference between cosmetic and medical treatment so you’re aware which are a necessity rather than optional
- We promote preventative steps to avoid further treatments
- We outline all costs in black and white and will never carry out work which you have not consented to
- We make first class dental care as affordable as possible. You may either “pay as you go” according to our set fees
- or join our Membership Plan which, for £13 per month, covers two examinations, including small x-rays, two hygienist appointments
- We offer a discount on treatments to all members
- As a bonus we offer free dental treatment to all under 16s if their parent is a paid member
- Where possible we offer treatment options to suit your budget
For further information do get in touch with us Call us on
0121 711 2424
Come and see us
Paul Lowe Dentistry
31 Farmhouse Way