The dental industry is dominated by male dentists. In fact, prior to 1980, female dentists were a very small percentage of the dental workforce. Fewer than 3 percent of all dentists in 1980 were female. But even while the rate of female participation in the dental industry has increased, today women represent an estimated 19 percent of the dental workforce in the USA. In Costa Rica however, a larger percentage of dentists are females. This is a positive benefit for many females from the USA and Canada seeking a female dentist in Costa Rica.
Patient experience suggests that male and female dentists vary in their attitude to their clinical practice. Several studies found that female dentists have a more precautionary viewpoint. Females generally take a more conservative method to restoration and encourage more preventive tactics in the early stages of disease.
Many female and male dental patients alike are considering Costa Rica for affordable dental care. Many of these patients are choosing female dentists for their care. Why? A female dentist is more likely to have a comforting presence and offers more a more calming bedside manner. This calming effect lowers the stress felt by anxious dental patients and makes them feel more comfortable and at home. What other reasons do patients offer for their preference for female dentists in Costa Rica?
Sympathy and better communication skills
Female dentists are often perceived as less rushed, more likely to discuss conditions with patients and more caring. In terms of decision-making, female dentists have been described as making decisions based more on “sensitivity” (personal values, empathy and thoughtfulness) than men, who base decisions on more “rational” traits (judgment, steadiness, objectivity). Female dental practitioners have been found to have the following:
- 1. Better social skills
- 2. Warm & compassionate
- 3. More expressive and sensitive
- 4. Superior listeners
- 5. Attentive
- 6. More verbally expressive and more responsive to patient needs
Some patients believe that women are more nurturing and feel that women are more empathetic, making them better at putting themselves in other people’s shoes. This makes for a better bedside manner and makes patients feel more at ease. Women also have motherly instincts to support patients and introduce more human-centered healing. This makes female dentists more thoughtful with patients on a higher level.
Prevention and conservative approach
Women dentists may be much better at prevention. Researchers found females had a much greater preference to offering cavity prevention routines to their patients much earlier than their male colleagues. This individualized care empowered patients and saved them money in the long run.
Other researchers have found that women dentists take a more conservative approach to restorative dentistry. A more conservative approach often results in less pain and less expensive solutions.
More compassionate care is the norm among female care providers. Dr. Natalia Guillen at Goodness Dental feels that this rings true.
“When I meet with a patient, my first instinct is to listen and understand how the patient lives. I ask myself, ‘How can I improve his or her life.’ I always seek the most reasonable, cost effective and minimally-painful method to achieve my optimal results. Are there teeth that can be preserved? My team always seeks ways to preserve natural teeth before seeking to replace them with dental implants.”
For dentists like Dr. Guillen, conservative treatment is always the rule. She listens to her patients and then recommends the best treatment plan, customized for the specific needs of each patient.
Women often are better at gentle dentistry
Some patients like the idea that women have smaller more delicate hands, making it easier for female dentists to work inside of a patient’s mouth with minimal discomfort. When it comes to doing tooth extractions, surgeries or major work in your mouth, a smaller hand is preferred and much less invasive.
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