Phobics prefer blondes - no, gentlemen!

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Guest

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The study below found that 93% of anxious male patients and 73% of anxious female patients preferred male dentists. Do you have a gender preference when it comes to dentists?



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J Dent Educ. 68(11): 1172-1177 2004
© 2004 American Dental Education Association
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Milieu in Dental School and Practice

Strategies for Combating Dental Anxiety
Lyndsay C. Bare, B.A.; Lauren Dundes, M.H.S., Sc.D.

Ms. Bare is a class of 2008 student, University of Maryland Baltimore College of Dental Surgery; Dr. Dundes is Associate Professor of Sociology, McDaniel College. Direct correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr. Lauren Dundes, Department of Sociology, McDaniel College, 2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157-4390; 410-857-2534 phone; 410-386-4671 fax; [email protected].


Key words: dental anxiety, patient preferences, gender, dentist traits, pain management

Submitted for publication 05/26/04; accepted 08/16/04

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Dental anxiety and subsequent avoidance of dental care and deterioration of oral health pose a significant problem for the dental profession. In an attempt to elucidate preferences of anxious dental patients, we gathered survey data from 121 persons at a small, private liberal arts college in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Half of the respondents experienced dental anxiety, and most of these (66 percent) attributed anxiety to fear of anticipated pain. The majority of anxious patients preferred a dentist to be friendly (93 percent), talkative (82 percent), and to have an office with adorned walls (89 percent) and a slightly cool temperature (63 percent). Patients who identified themselves as anxious also indicated that music in the background (89 percent) and magazines and books in the dental office (75 percent) were helpful. Anxious patients were more likely than non-anxious patients to prefer a male dentist (77 percent versus 52 percent). This finding was especially marked among anxious male respondents, 93 percent of whom preferred a male dentist compared to 73 percent of anxious female respondents. These survey data may assist dental professionals in understanding and combating patients’ dental anxiety, in order to increase the frequency of dental visits and to prompt a corresponding restoration or maintenance of oral health.

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R

rayne

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#2
i explained a bit about my vote under the 'dental outfits' thread.  :)
 
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Geraint

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#3
:DI preffer female dentist's I find female dentist's to be more sympathetic and approachable. I find them to be better at explaining treatments and what is going on. I have had two female dentist's both have helped me tremendously in overcoming my phobia of dentists.
 
kitkat

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#4
It's hard to say speaking so generally but in my experience thus far with dentists I have to go with Geraint on this one. I have only had one female dentist, which is the one I have now, and she's been the best so far so that sways my opinion. Could've been just luck of the draw though :confused: lol
 
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flutterby

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#5
I definately prefer a male dentist. In November, I went to a female dentist, and she tried to sympathetic to my lack of trust in dentists, but at the same time she was kind of mean actually. She had to question almost everything I said or did in her office. But that was only on the first visit, on the second one, she wasn't too bad. I still prefer male dentists.

When I had my root canal (in January) the endodontist was male and he did a very, very good job of helping me relax. He made some jokes, talked to me about different things, even sang during the procedure. If all dentists were like him, I probably wouldn't mind going to the dentist.

And the endontists, he explained the procedure and instruments very well, but I have to ask the female dentist about everything or she won't explain it in detail.
 
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Andria

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#7
All my dentists have ben male. done a good job so far.
 
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Dana

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#8
That's funny, usually female choose male doctor and male choose female doctor:) It is the same with me. I could never trust female denstist as much as male. I don't know why...
 
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s0352mount

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#9
Unfortunately, I had a very unpleasant experience with a female dentist. I had heard a rumour through the grapevine (and it might just be only a rumour) that she didn't really like female patients. Well, my experience may well bear that out. But I left the practice a long time ago. I have never met such a rude and unsympathetic dentist, so utterly lacking in empathy. So much so that I complained to the GDC about the said practice.
Anyway, I subsequently went to a male dentist. He was much better and more communicative. I felt he had some empathy. (I wonder if it was because he was the opposite sex to me?)
However, I have elected nowadays to stick to male dentists only, if and when I bother to go at all. I am not sure if many female dentists actually like other women. I don't think I will ever go to another one for as long as I live.

From a newbie.
 
scaredstiff

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#10
I voted female, but since I haven't had experience of a male dentist (I can't remember that far back) don't know whether the vote should count. I think on the whole though, a woman is more caring. Having said that though, my doctor is female and a worse bedside manner I have yet to come across. So really to quantify my vote I would say, good and bad both sexes, I was just lucky I got right dentist, and she happened to be female so in my case, right gender!
 
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Issy

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#11
Having had a Male Dentist previously,who i didn't like at all :censored: And now found Jenny,i can already say i feel much happier with a Female.

I've always wanted a Female Dentist
 
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Darren_Wilson

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Female without any shadow of a doubt. The last male dentist I had got 'chinned' for attempting a filling without offering anaesthetic and as soon as the drill touched the nerve, my right hand connected with his chin.
Since I started seeing a dentist again, I have made sure that they are female, and the dentist I see at my local emergency access centre is a very good looking, mid-20's female who makes the whole trips so much more pleasant. Just a shame that I am married and my teeth are in such a bad state, else I would have asked her to go for a drink by now ! The other problem is that I feel such a prat when I literally feeze and start to shake in the chair when if you see me you would think that I wouldn't be scared of anything (6' tall with a defined muscular body and a resemblance to Vin Diesil in looks!).
 
NotAloneISee

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#13
Male or female dentist?

Which do you prefer...a male or female dentist?

If you have had both, then why do you prefer one over the other? If you have never had a male...or had a female, is there a reason why?

Personally, I have had three males and one female. My experiences with my current dentist (the female) are much better than most experiences with the males. Even two months ago, I had an oral surgeon take out a tooth. Horrible attitude. He was cocky and had no patience or sympathy.

My dentist is sympathetic and patient. She is understanding of my fears yet she does not pamper me too much. She takes the time to explain every detail to me, and she gives me time to relax between steps of procedures.

So, for me a female is best.
 
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travisb

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i have a female dentist now and have no complaints. to be honest, it never even came across my mind whether i want a male or female dentist when i looked for one. and its definately not an attraction thing either. plus, i was able to talk her into giving me a prescription of vicodin after my tooth extraction! :cheers:


until recently i hadnt been to the dentist in like 8 years, but the dentist before my new one was a male... i dont remember having any complaints back then either. i dont think its a gender thing, i think its just a matter of whether theyre a good dentist or not
 
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gettingthere

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#15
This is an interesting question as I always thought I would prefer a female dentist. Even though I had horrible experiences with both male and female dentists in the past. When I inititally plucked up the courage to register with a dentist after 12 years, I had researched online (using this forum) to find a practice which appeared to offer the kind of care and philosophy I needed. Even so, I was put off when I called and was told that they only had male dentists and it took me three months to call them again and actually go to see one of their dentists. All I can say now is that I'm glad I did! He is the most caring, patient and kind man and everything I could have hoped for. I don't really think gender can come into the question. It's all about personality and finding the person that is right for you BUT my advice to anyone else thinking they can only limit themselves to male or female is to open your mind and try dentists out for size.

Interestingly, I have recently had 2 dental nurses and one doctor (all female) all scoff at me for my phobia (which extends to medical settings and injections in general), telling me that as a woman I must get over this phobia otherwise I will never cope with having a baby! Maybe it's me but I can't ever imagine such a presumptive and personal remark coming from a male medical professional?!
 
NotAloneISee

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I agree that it is more personality than gender.

However, I wonder if females do better with male dentists and males do better with female dentists.

I doubt there is a correlation for everyone, but for me I prefer a female dentist. My wife does not...she prefers a male dentist.

Telling a male dentist that I am scared is more difficult than telling a female dentist.

I don't know why...maybe it is just me.
 
brit

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#17
I agree that it is more personality than gender.

However, I wonder if females do better with male dentists and males do better with female dentists.

I doubt there is a correlation for everyone, but for me I prefer a female dentist. My wife does not...she prefers a male dentist.

Telling a male dentist that I am scared is more difficult than telling a female dentist.

I don't know why...maybe it is just me.
I think this is a valid point: my preference would be male and I am female BUT I have experienced good and bad in both and so at the end of the day it is the individual dentist's skills (techniques/equipment available) and personality which matters most, not their sex. I also think being a similar age can help or being at the same life stage....it makes it easier for conversations to get past 'the weather outside';).

It's probably easier for an averagely sympathetic male dentist to be kind and sympathetic to women than to men (chivalry etc).

It's a total myth that females are generally kinder and gentler though since the females attracted to dentistry will probably be a skewed subset.

Also if I totted up the figures for me personally, although my absolute worst experience was with a male dentist....I have had some moderately bad ones with females...so as a percentage of those I have seen over the years, with one notable exception, I have found males more painless and competent by a large margin....so my preference is not just based on them being the opposite sex.
 
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Poodleoo

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#18
Sorry cos this is sexist but I wouldn't even want to go to a man. I'd be mortified if I fancied him. Maybe someone grandfatherly would be OK - but then I'd be worried he was too old and might drop something in my mouth!

I dislike male doctors, too. I was so lucky having 5 kids and only got a male doctor once - then it was in an emergency and I'd have allowed Hannibal Lecter to deal with it, TBH. My friend's best friend at uni was a dentist and he was always telling us about the sleazy things he got up to with his nurses after hours - which put me off male dentists, too. I felt he abused his 'power' in that work situation and came out the winner as he was a particularly unattractive man who could never have good such goodlooking girlfriends, if he'd been a plumber! Maybe they aren't all like that but dunno, I think men objectify women sometimes and probably think we have a higher pain threshold so are less careful.

Men don't have the same chat, they're not on your level. My dentist is not only female but around the same age as me and I think that's perfect.
 
brit

brit

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#19
1. Maybe they aren't all like that but dunno, I think men objectify women sometimes and probably think we have a higher pain threshold so are less careful.

2. Men don't have the same chat, they're not on your level. My dentist is not only female but around the same age as me and I think that's perfect.
1. I definitely think that is the exception:o...it would only have needed one of those people to complain and his practice would have been done for...maybe he was just bragging or if it did really happen maybe they were only after his money :ROFLMAO:

2. Normally I'd agree about male lack of smalltalk but when you find a gem of either sex, it doesn't seem to apply...I don't agree about pain threshold....if anything male dentists are probably more careful with women as they know they will go out and tell everyone their good/bad experience in a way males probably won't!!! No I think because they feel more protective towards them than they do to men.
Absolutely agree about same age being a positive...allows more topics of natural conversation. I find even 'young hairdressers' don't have a clue how to make smalltalk with me simply because I am so much older .
 
mikey boy

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#20
which do yu perfere

i know this might be a stupid question but ok do yu perfere to have a woman dentist or do yu perfere to have man dentist:confused:
 

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