Oral Health, Sociologists & The Social & Behavioural Sciences: Closer Links?

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Oral Health, Sociologists & The Social & Behavioural Sciences: Closer Links?

  1. Home
  2. Dental Articles
  3. General Examination and Hygiene Articles
  4. Oral Health, Sociologists & The Social & Behavioural Sciences: Closer Links?
Oral Health, Sociologists & The Social & Behavioural Sciences Closer Links In Melton Dental House At Melton

One could be cynical and say that dentists are now making so much money that they can afford to include the behavioural sciences in their remit. Head shrinking would make reaching those hard to get at cavities so much closer to hand. In all seriousness though, this expansion of vocational concerns can only be a good thing for their patients. So should oral health, sociologists and the social & behavioural sciences have closer links? It is all part of the progression from crude tooth pullers to sophisticated oral health practitioners. The almost medieval torture chamber is now a thing of the past when it comes to modern dentistry in the clinical setting.

Sourcing the Psychology Behind Oral Health To Advance Its Cause

The scientifically proven links between oral health and our overall general health are establishing trend setting trails into a better dental future for us all. Quite simply, if you neglect your dental health you can expect a correlation with the development of malefactors of a more serious nature in your health and wellbeing per se. Therefore, dentists and their guilds and training institutions must commit to more ways to improve the oral health of more people within their communities and populations. Sociology and the behavioural sciences can shine a light on why the sector has failed to lift the standards of oral health across the board for everyone. In addition, these academic modalities can offer new ways to expand the effectiveness and reach of dental care via understanding the psychology of the business at hand.

“Although behavioural and social factors have been acknowledged as inextricably intertwined with dentistry since its very beginnings (e.g. patient interaction, expectations of patients, coping with pain), formal scientific inquiry in these domains has been much more recent. Beginning in the 1960s, Lois Cohen—later labeled as the ‘principal architect’ of the social and behavioural sciences in dentistry—and others developed a research agenda for what would become an entire field in its own right. This progress has continued for decades to the present.”
– NCBI.gov

The Sociology Of Economic Inequity Pervades The Dental Playing Field

Yes, economic factors still stand out like the elephant in the room, with dental procedures too expensive for many to contemplate. Too many folk put up with bad teeth for too long because they fear they cannot afford to get professional help. Teeth are curmudgeonly in-built tools for lots of people. They do not last the distance unless you are born lucky or take darn good care of them over your lifetime. The SOB who discovered and propagated sugar has plenty to answer for in this painful conundrum. We love sweet things but they are kryptonite for the health of our teeth and gums. Capitalism and the free market feeds our predilection for sugar by stocking supermarket shelves with loads of unhealthy consumables. We pay a little for candies, cookies and cakes but a much bigger price tag via our plaque infested teeth and the resulting cavities.

In an aside, I find myself internally forced to get up and brush my teeth when writing these dentally focused articles. At least you know, via this confession, that this is not written by AI, as computers don’t need to clean their teeth, I am reliably informed.

Do Ordinary Dentists Really Care About Behavioural Science?

“Sociology and Psychology for the Dental Team: An Introduction to Key Topics
The role that the social and behavioural sciences play in the daily practice of dentistry is now an essential part of all dentistry training, but it can often seem distant from the reality of daily clinical practice. Dentists often ask: what is sociology? Why do I need to know about psychology? “
– KCL.ac.uk

New generations of dentists are being trained in the importance of these modalities to their future vocational careers as dentists. Old timers in the field may be somewhat more circumspect about the value of such things – teaching old dogs new tricks etc. If these things are important to you as a patient it may well pay to ask a few questions of your dentists prior to getting onto that treatment couch. Old school oral health technicians may or may not be your cup of tea.

“Psychology is an important aspect of dentistry because it plays a significant role in the overall dental experience of patients. Dental treatments can be stressful, and the fear and anxiety associated with dental visits can be overwhelming for some patients. Understanding human behavior, emotions, and motivations is essential in creating a positive dental experience. Dental professionals who are trained in psychology can effectively communicate with patients and provide them with the emotional support they need to overcome their fears.”
– Linkedin Pulse

Oral Health, Sociologists & The Social & Behavioural Sciences Closer Links At Melton Dental House In Melton

Divining Oral Health Solutions Via The Social Sciences

Oral health, sociologists & the social & behavioural sciences: Closer links? There are both internal and external factors impacting upon the engagement between the dental sector and the population. There are fears and anxieties involving perceived pain at the hands of dental practitioners. Plus, there are economic fears around sending oneself into poverty via the expense of dental procedures not being covered by Medicare. People put off things they think may be too pricey, as many avoid the embarrassment of appearing poor in the first place. It is incredible what human beings will put up with in terms of discomfort and pain. In the current cost of living crisis you can imagine how many people are delaying big ticket things like getting teeth fixed. It is an appalling situation that Australia is fast becoming a deeply divided nation of haves and have nots. The wealthy home owner half of Australia enjoys worlds class dental care, whilst the renters and working poor put off expensive procedures to put food on the table and pay the exorbitant rents on their places of temporary residence. Sociologists will tell you that these two speed economies result in societal upheavals. The young folk being screwed by the unfair state of the economy will take action sooner than many realise – despite the apathetic reputation of Australians. If you treat people unfairly for too long they rise up and take matters into their own hands – history tells us that, repeatedly. Dental clinics may become targets of vandalism and activist action to draw attention to the inequities within Australian society. Red paint splashed on walls, graffiti, and smashed windows – “Eat The Rich & Hope They Don’t Give You Cavities!” “Down with Greedy Dentists Drilling For Our Gold”.

Dentists Accessing Their Patient’s Superannuation

There are dentists involved in accessing the early release of their client’s superannuation lump sums for dental procedures costing tens of thousands of dollars. This is a slippery slope in moral and economic terms. The previous Morrison federal government began this trend during the Coronavirus pandemic encouraging ordinary Australians to access their super to keep themselves financially afloat. This flies in the face of what superannuation was originally established for – to economically maintain Australians in their retirement. Once the money is gone, its gone! Yes, new implanted teeth can be life changing but does it have to be a case of user pays? Surely, our teeth are really part of our body and deserve to be covered by Medicare. If we can afford to give America and Britain $369 billion for submarines in the future, perhaps we could re-evaluate the cost of including dental in Medicare. Something to think about Australia.

DISCLAIMER:

The content has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. Melton Dental House does not make any representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, fitness, or completeness of the content.

The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional personal diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a dental or medical condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read or seen on the Site.

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