Gentle Dentistry and Why Men Avoid Medical Treatment
At this point most of us know that preventative care is vitally important in preventing more serious conditions down the road, whether that’s gum disease or heart disease. Everyone also knows that, if we’re being totally honest, going to the dentist or doctor isn’t generally the most fun thing to do. Despite that common knowledge, it seems that women are better at sucking it up and looking at the overwhelming positives of preventative medical treatments and checkups. Certain studies in the past have shown that men tend to drag their feet quite a bit more when it comes to visiting their dentist or primary care doctor than women. A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians indicated that over 1/2 of men surveyed hadn’t had a physical in over a year.
A dentist that practices gentle dentistry or a caring doctor might help motivate men to make it to their appointments, but it isn’t totally clear what is causing men to avoid medical treatment. According to the survey, 29% of men reported that they “waited as long as possible” before resorting to going to their doctor or dentist when they are in pain or sick.
The results also reveal that one of the most common answers guys gave in response to the reason for their absence was that they didn’t feel that they were “sick enough” to need help. This doesn’t explain why men are also far less likely to make routine dental exams. The logic doesn’t hold up in that case as there is no evidence that men have healthier teeth than women. It also doesn’t take into account diseases that are generally without symptoms in their early stages like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
One perhaps obvious hidden cause for this absence of men is fear. Whether it’s a fear of the lack of control, or finding out that there is something seriously wrong with them. At Prescott Dentistry we aim to create a calm, less fearful environment with gentle dentistry in Prescott to avoid this problem. However, according to a Rutgers study, fear may not be the most prevalent reason for their avoidance. This study found that men with more old-fashioned, macho ideas of masculinity were half as likely to take advantage off preventative healthcare. Theories also include that genetic evolutionary behavioral adaption or cultural conditioning to not show any signs of weakness are to blame.
At Prescott Dentistry, all of our treatments aim to be categorized as gentle dentistry. So if you suffer from dental fear, or just a little too much pride, perhaps it’s time to move past it and schedule your visit today!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/13/2015) arileu (Flickr)