Personal and collective attitudes which create invitations to victimhood and infirmity literally alter what patients expect of themselves. And when they embrace a status of affliction such as, “My family has bad teeth,” or “I am not going to spend that kind of money on my mouth,” it hints of oppression, as does, “I can’t do this, I don’t have dental insurance,” or “I am just too scared to go to the dentist.”
These mindsets also foster disengagement, denial, and avoidance of problem-ownership, which all delay timely and appropriate treatment, and which can snowball into even bigger problems.
These avoidance-based strategies are the coddling nurse of anxiety, often making it worse, as they facilitate a self-message that the person is too fragile personally, emotionally, or financially to proceed in any productive direction. They also cultivate an external locus of control…a feeling that the person has no self-agency, hence, their fate must been thrown to the wind.
In patients who truly need complex restorative dentistry, we need for them to show-up. We need for them to actively participate in problem-ownership, planning, and execution. We also need for them to step up and be courageous hero’s in their own journey toward better health, function, and appearance.
And many of them can and will through co-discovery and a well calibrated missional Care Team to help them through the sometimes long and testing process.
Paul A Henny, DDS
Read more at www.codiscovery.com
Paul A. Henny, DDS