I’m in a bit of a bind. I have to have all my wisdom teeth pulled. I go to a dentist I have a good relationship with but she doesn’t do sedation of any kind— not even the gas kind. I’m not up for this procedure without some form of sedation so I asked her for a referral. She gave me three names of oral surgeons and said they’re all equally good. The problem is they’re all men. I don’t think men are bad or evil, but when I’m under, I feel better knowing it’s a woman. I called my insurance company asking for a female oral surgeon and they acted like I was a sexist. I’m writing you specifically because you’re a male practice and I want an honest answer. Is it wrong to want a female doctor? Are there not any female oral surgeons?
The most important thing is not whether it’s right or wrong for you to feel that way. The fact is you’re having a procedure which frightens you. What you need most right then is to feel comfortable. Don’t let anyone bully you into seeing a practitioner you’re not comfortable with.
One of the problems you’ll run into if you definitely want to see an oral surgeon over a sedation dentist is that 98% of them are men. No one is sure why women aren’t attracted to the field, but if you live somewhere fairly small, you may struggle to find a female oral surgeon. You do have two other options.
Being Comfortable with a Sedation Dentist
- Your first option is to see a female sedation dentist if there is one in your area.
- Your next option is to ask for a woman assistant to be present in a dental office or to see if the oral surgeon has a female anesthetist
Either of these two options will give you the comfort of a female presence. Just bear in mind with sedation you’ll need someone to stay with you throughout the day, as well as drive you to and from the appointment.
Don’t put this off too long. You don’t want impacted wisdom teeth to turn into a dental emergency. Then, you wouldn’t get much choice at all in who does the procedure.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Fred Arnold.