House Mental Classification: The Psychology Behind Receiving Dentures

Did you know… 

There’s science behind receiving dentures and it goes beyond dentistry. Dentists want to understand a patient’s attitude toward receiving a dental prosthetic so they can provide the best treatment recommendations. Early in the 20th century, a classification system was developed to group patients based on how well they would do with a new set of dentures. 

What is the House Mental Classification System of Denture Patients? 

The House Mental Classification System was developed by Dr. Ewell Neil in 1932, and was then popularized by Dr. Milus House who ultimately received credit for its creation. The system surveys the patient’s mental attitude toward the idea of receiving dentures, and breaks patients into four types: hysterical, exacting, indifferent, and philosophical. 

If you or someone you know is considering dentures as a solution to tooth loss, it will be valuable to understand what group you fall into so you can better manage your expectations and make the right choice for your oral health. 

  1. The Hysterical patient is in bad shape. They are suffering from poor oral health and can feel hopeless that there is a solution to their tooth loss.  
  2. An Exacting patient is mostly concerned with the appearance and function of their new dentures. They will expect their prosthetics to look and feel like their natural teeth. 
  3. Indifferent patients might be unmotivated to find the right dental solution. 
  4. The Philosophical patient depends on their doctor’s recommendations and expertise to make the right decisions about their oral health care. They often have a more positive outlook when it comes to treatment and the idea of wearing a dental prosthetic.  

Factors That Affect a Patient's Classification 

Our personal experiences and temperament often affect our receptiveness to treatment and our view of medical professionals. It’s critical that we understand how these attitudes can influence how well we will receive treatment. For example: 

  • Fear of the dentist or dental anxiety could have caused you to avoid preventive dental care in the past and may have contributed to the damage, decay and tooth loss you face today. 
  • Distrust of dentists or other medical professionals could also cause you to avoid preventive and restorative care. It will likely leave you skeptical of treatment recommendations presented by your current doctor. 
  • Not prioritizing healthcare because of other important, or not so important, issues and events can be an easy thing to do. Perhaps you are now exploring dental care options because a friend or family member has suggested it. 

How to Overcome Obstacles When Receiving Dentures

Once you’re mindful of how you feel about the dentist and potential treatment recommendations, you can work to get past these issues to get the best care possible. Here are a few tips to have a better outlook at the dentist’s office: 

  • Find a well-recommended dentist, possibly someone who has been suggested by a close friend or relative. Alternatively, you can take the word of the masses by checking Google reviews for a doctor’s rating and read real patient experiences. 
  • Build a relationship with your dentist. You’ll have a better experience if you get along with and trust your healthcare provider. It’s okay if you have to meet a few dentists before you find someone you’re genuinely comfortable with. In the end, it’s worth it! 
  • Stay committed to your healthcare by working with your doctor to develop an oral hygiene plan that you can stick to. This includes in-office appointments as well as your at-home maintenance. Your dentist can help you figure out the best ways to remind or incentivize you to prioritize your oral health. 
  • Keep your expectations realistic. Dentures are an amazing dental solution to tooth loss, but there is an adjustment period and maintenance is required. Be open with your dentist about your lifestyle, preferences and fears, and discuss all your options. Together you can find the best solution for you. 

Consider Wisconsin Dental Wellness 

If you’re looking for dentures, dental implants, or another restorative solution to tooth loss, schedule a consultation with Dr. Lau! With his breadth of services, he can offer treatment that’s right for you. Book online or call (608) 912-0323 today! If you’re in the Deforest or Windsor area, you can stop by our office at 821 S Main Street, Deforest, WI 53532. 


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