The Tribune’s recent story on Florida ranking as the scariest state in the U.S. included “going to the dentist” as a common fear. As a dentist who is passionate about helping others, it’s disconcerting to see dentists compared to sharks, bears and hurricanes.
So here are five reasons why you should not fear going to a licensed Florida Dental Association (FDA) member:
♦ “Dental care isn’t expensive, but dental neglect is.” You should see a dentist every six months to find oral health problems early so treatment is likely to be simpler and more affordable. Untreated dental disease can lead to serious health problems such as infection, damage to bone or nerve and tooth loss.
♦ All FDA-member dentists follow a code of ethics that reflects each dentist’s commitment to integrity and promoting the highest professional and moral standards and have completed a thorough licensing process.
♦ FDA-member dentists are actively engaged in professional development and continued education, as well as advocating for the oral health of their patients and all Floridians.
♦ Advancements in dental science and technology are being made every day to help dentists provide the most advanced, patient-friendly care.
♦ Dentists value building relationships with our patients, and many of us donate our time and resources to community services and clinics. We also are individuals with our styles, so when choosing a dentist you may want to call or visit more than one dentist to determine if this is the right match for you.
I hope continued education and conversation can relieve fears about going to the dentist and help patients achieve better oral health. If fear is keeping you from visiting the dentist, I encourage you not to put off a visit any longer. Discuss questions or hesitations with your dentist and their staff or call your local Florida Dental Association — www.mouthhealthy.org/en/find-a-dentist.
Paul R. Miller
New Port Richey
The writer, a DDS, is a board-certified dentist who practices in New Port Richey. He
was named the 2014 Dentist of the Year by the Florida Dental Association and regularly volunteers at the Good Samaritan Clinic in Pasco County.