Men are less likely to go to the dentist for regular check ups than women
Dr Cherie Yam, founder and head dentist at newly opened ‘Dentists In Yamanto’, at Yamanto Central shopping centre, is on a mission to improve the number of men who go to the dentist regularly.
According to Dr Yam, men don’t go the dentist as often as women. Women are more likely to seek out oral treatment on a regular basis compared to men. Men are more likely to go to the dentist for an acute problem and less often for disease prevention.
“On average, women demonstrate more positive attitudes about dental visits, greater oral health literacy, and exhibit better oral health behaviors than men,” Dr Yam said.
“If I look at general numbers across the board, over 70 percent of my patients are women and 30 percent are men.
“Generally, men do not like going to the dentist. In fact, they hate it. Too many men have had bad dental experiences as a child or have heard too many horror stories from mates and they avoid going to the dentist for as long as possible.
“Many men only go the dentist when the problem gets so bad they can not deal with it any longer. By this stage, the issue requires significant attention.”
Dr Yam said that dental phobia is a big issue among Australian men and it is something that we need to start talking about and tackling.
“We have to get more men going to the dentist on a regular basis. Men are more likely to have to have a tooth pulled than women because men don’t undertake the regular preventative visits that women do,” Dr Yam said.
Technology has really evolved over the last few years.
“At my dental practice in Yamanto Central, we have installed all the latest dental technology and much of it involves digital dentistry,” Dr Yam said.
“We no longer take teeth moulds in the dental chair, we find that this is the cause of a lot of dental anxiety. These procedures are all computerised now with a 3D scanner. We simply wave a wand around inside the mouth and we can create digital moulds which are 3D printed in house.
“When it comes to dental phobia, we are able to provide patients with oral medications to relax them prior to the visit.
“In addition, we have also installed a TV and can provide headphones to patients to give them the opportunity to watch programs and listen to music or other sounds to create a more enjoyable experience.”
Dr Yam has some tips for men.
Do your research
“Talk to friends, do your research and find a dentist that is well liked and has a great chair-side manner,” Dr Yam said.
“Opt for a dentist that specialises in dental phobia. We offer different ways to reduce your concern and anxiety so that you have the best experience possible.”
“Dentists do cost money however if you go to the dentist regularly you are more likely to keep your oral health in good order, identify issues early and avoid having to deal with big issues. It is the big issues that tend to cost lots of money,” Dr Yam said.
“If you have private health, find out what type of cover you are eligible for and take advantage of this. Consider dental when you are tossing up what brand and level of cover to buy.”
Find a dentist that offers all the latest technology
“The dental profession is a highly evolving industry. Over the last few years we have seen significant advancement in our tools and technology,” Dr Yam said.
“These include instruments that emit little sound and the arrival of 3D printing and digital scanning that create bespoke fit solutions making treatment faster and more convenient.”