Skip to comments.'Open wide' takes a bite out of male bravado, dentists say
Posted on 02/25/2005 11:58:30 AM PST by Cagey
Put a guy in a dental chair, and he turns into a wimp.
In a new survey of 171 Chicago area dentists, 49 percent said males are more anxious when it comes to dental appointments, while only 15 percent thought females were the scaredy-cats.
The survey is being released at the Chicago Dental Society's annual meeting at McCormick Place.
"The bigger they are, the more they fear," said Niles dentist Alice Boghosian, who recalled one man who came in with a broken tooth.
CHICAGO'S TOP SMILES Dentists chose the best smiles from a list of five local celebrities.
Oprah Winfrey: 49 percent Michael Jordan: 35 percent Joan Cusack: 10 percent Bill Kurtis: 4 percent Mayor Daley: 3 percent
"He looked like a big, blond, stapling Viking," Boghosian said. "But he acted like a mouse. He said, 'I'm really afraid of the dentist.' "
The guy was so nervous, he broke into a sweat, she said. "Every time I would touch him, he would jump."
'Wives make the appointments'
Westchester dentist Keith Suchy has found that when they're little, boys generally are no more afraid than girls. But as they get older, the fear gender gap widens. By the time patients hit their 40s, Suchy estimates, there are four dental-phobic men for every anxious woman.
One reason may be that men don't take care of their teeth as well as women do and therefore need more work. A 2003 American Dental Association survey found that women are more likely to brush their teeth after meals, while men are less likely to even have a dentist.
Chicago hygienist JoAnn Butters said some of her male patients go 10 years between dental visits.
"They won't come in, so their wives make the appointments," she said.
Chicago dentist Cheryl D. Watson-Lowry has a different theory. Men who are used to being in charge, such as cops and doctors, tend to feel vulnerable in the dental chair.
"They have a difficult time relinquishing control," she said.
Smile, mayor -- or not
To reassure them, Watson-Lowry promises to immediately stop whatever she's doing if the patient raises his hand or even lifts an eyebrow. But many men won't admit they're afraid, she said.
"They just won't show up."
In the survey, dentists also were asked to rate the smiles of some Chicago celebrities.
Mayor Daley, who hasn't had much to smile about lately, came in last.
Know any good dentist stories? Or, are you two anti-dentites?
... and that novacaine costs extra. ;)
I see you do Periodontal work.
Tell me by chance if you were ever a captain working as a Navy Dentist.
Hahahaha! Great story.
I don't like pain. If I have to deal with it, I will, when the time comes. When I go to the dentist, I always say, "I'm not allergic to anything. Give me whatever it takes, but DON'T HURT ME!" My dentist knows me well. He's never hurt me. I've had three root canals. None hurt.
Once after relatively minor surgery, I had demerol. I hated it. I said I'd rather have the pain than take that.
It's just me. That's the way I am.
When my mother was 75 years old, she decided to rearrange some venetian blinds. She climbed on a table, fell, hit a table on the way down, hit the floor, and broke three ribs. She refused to take anything for pain other than asperin. She had a high pain threshold. That's her. It's not me.
You nailed it. There is no doubt in my mind that women have a higher threshold for pain.
In mine either. ~S
Yes--and after childbirth, the pain of dental procedures just pales in comparison.
I used to be so scared of dental pain and dental visits; now that I'm a mother fillings/root canals don't bother me at all.
No, I'm a hs dropout passing myself off as a dentist.
Most guys have some problems holding their mouths open that long...most of the gals I went to school with wouldn't...
wink wink nudge nudge...
Those girls you went to school with talked that much?
And they have newer magazines than de Sade.
Not that there's anything wrong with it.
among other things...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.