When it comes to picking the right dentist to meet the needs of you and your family, there are many things to consider. Selecting the right dental care provider can make all the difference between maintaining your teeth and gums, and avoiding regular dental visits, which can lead to tooth decay and an array of other problems. Below are some great tips to consider as you search for a trusted dentist.
Does your dentist actively listen?
Listening is a skill every good medical care professional should be proficient at. An exceptional dentist will want to listen to your needs, concerns, and questions, and take the time needed to address them all. Good dentists will perform a thorough examination of your oral health before recommending a treatment plan and will provide you with several options for proper dental care.
A good dentist educates
Most patients won’t have the dental experience or expertise to know how to care for their teeth and gums properly. A good dentist will instruct you on how best to treat your unique oral issues and make you aware of treatment options that may be available. A great dentist will also take the time to answer your questions and recommend over-the-counter products that can help you maintain your teeth and gums.
A great dentist respects their patient’s time and resources
If you find yourself waiting for excessively long periods of time in the dentist’s office after scheduling an appointment or paying overly high prices, these are tell-tale warnings that your dentist doesn’t respect your time or budget. Great dentists will ensure they are punctual and will offer affordable cash payment options for their services.
A clean and comfortable setting
First impressions make lasting relationships. If your dentist doesn’t take pride in the appearance of their office or the friendliness of their staff, then they probably won’t put in the effort when it comes to your oral care. A good dentist maintains a clean, orderly office and hires staff that is friendly and approachable when you have questions, ensuring you feel at ease during your visit.
Any worthy dentist will provide a good variety of procedures to treat your wants and needs and they won’t try to upsell you on procedures or care that you don’t need. If you find yourself constantly questioning your dental diagnoses that are outside your budget or not covered by your insurance, be wary.
Gets to understand your needs
While every dentist should maintain a professional demeanor at all times, a great dentist will get to know who you are, what your dental history is, and provide you with a personalized experience. When a dental care professional takes the time to get to know you, you’ll feel more connected to their clinic and more at ease during your visits.
Follows up with you
A good dentist should seek to maintain a long-term relationship with you following up with you after a visit or procedure. They should and then attempt to schedule your next regular appointment and advise you on when you may need a dental x-ray, dental examination, or a dental procedure.
Has a good rapport with the staff
A good dentist will maintain a positive workplace environment for their team. Staff should enjoy their workday alongside the dentist, which will, in turn, improve their customer support, and ensure your needs are met and questions are answered promptly. Pay attention to how a dentist’s support staff addresses or acts around the dentist.
Post procedure follow-ups
A great dentist will personally follow up with you after a major dental procedure to ensure you aren’t feeling excessive pain or discomfort. Whether you’ve had teeth pulled, a dental implant placed, or other major dental procedures done, a quality dentist will take the time to make a quick care call to ensure you feel at ease and answer any new questions you may have.
They’ll ask for your records
A competent dentist will want to see your previous dental records if you have them to ensure they understand your dental history. These records, if you have access to them, can help them expedite treatments and better understand your oral health care needs.
Modern equipment being used
If your dentist isn’t using modern dental equipment or is using equipment that’s over ten years old, you may want to seek out a better provider. Dental technology is continually changing, so a good dentist will stay apprised and use the best equipment available.
Your dentist maintains a sterile environment
Any competent dentist should clean and sanitize the dental equipment between each patient. Both dentists and their hygienists should always wear latex gloves and a mask as they work on your teeth to ensure infections are avoided.
A great reputation
An excellent dental clinic will maintain a great reputation among its patients and online. Any complaints will be addressed professionally and courteously.
Will suggest oral cancer screenings
While oral cancer is rare, a good dentist will occasionally recommend an oral cancer screening during an annual treatment. As with other forms of cancer, it’s best to be proactive when diagnosing this serious health concern.
Can provide references
A solid dentist should be willing to provide references or examples of their past work, primarily if they perform cosmetic dentistry. Understanding the desired end result for cosmetic dental treatments is imperative before moving forward with these procedures.
Good ADA standing
A competent dentist will be a member of the American Dental Association. This group requires its dentist members to put the health and well-being of their patients first. Members are expected to be honest in their dealings and allow patients to choose their oral care options.
They offer comprehensive services
While every dentist provides preventative dental care and teeth cleanings, most good dentists also offer other services that may include cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, dental implants, or other dental treatments that can meet all of your dental care needs.
They offer emergency dental care
Dental emergencies happen. If you were to break or lose a tooth, it’s best to know your dentist provides after-hours emergency dental care.
They offer affordable cash payment options
While most dentists accept a wide variety of insurance provider plans, your chosen dentists should also offer affordable cash payment options when your coverage isn’t adequate. Your budget shouldn’t preclude you from getting proper dental care.
They’re conveniently located near you
A significant factor to consider is how close or how long a drive to your dentist’s office may take. The right dentist for your needs should be an easy commute from home or your workplace, making regular appointments easy to keep.