Finding the right dentist can be a daunting task. Your dentist can have an enormous impact on your health, so it’s an important decision to get right. Not all dentists are created equal, and the skills and experience of the dentist you choose can have a significant impact on the outcome of your procedure.
The right dentist can have a huge positive impact on your oral health.
Dental treatments, when carried out by well-qualified and experienced practitioners, are low risk and quite safe. So, you need to make sure your dentist is suitably qualified, highly experienced, and will take the utmost care with your treatment.
Don’t just pick randomly from the Yellow Pages or a Google search – follow the steps below to make a wise decision and find the best dentist for you.
Ask for recommendations
Friends, family and co-workers can be a great source of recommendations. If they know a great dentist, they’ll be happy to tell you about them, and should be able to give you insider information about the personality of the dentist and office staff, how long you have to wait for appointments, and how payment is handled.
Ask them about their experience with the dentist – are they gentle and caring, and do they communicate well? Develop a shortlist of dentists with great referrals, and research them further.
Ask your doctor
Your doctor might be a useful point of reference as to which dentists are worth considering. Doctors and dentists often work closely together, and doctors often have links with good local dental practitioners. Next time you’re paying a visit to your doctor, ask them for a referral to a great dentist.
Visit the dentist’s website
Google your potential dentist and try to find details about his or her experience and credentials by visiting their website. Especially look for the referrals or recommendations section of the website, as this can give you extremely useful information.
Does their website look up-to-date and relevant? Do they post useful content to give you more information or help you understand dental procedures? Do they outline their services and procedures clearly? Can you contact then or book an appointment easily?
While a website won’t tell you everything, take all these questions into consideration when making your decision.
Call or visit your dentist before making a choice
Call or visit your potential dentist to get a better feel for the practice in general. If possible, schedule a quick consultation with your dentist to ask some questions and get to know if they might be a good fit for you.
Answers you need to find:
· Is the dentist a member of a professional organisation?
· Are they concerned with your whole-body health, rather than just your teeth? Your oral health affects the health of your whole body, and the best dentists will consider your oral health in connection with the rest of your body.
· Are you able to understand what the dentist is telling you, or does he or she use jargon you don’t understand? Do they explain what they mean and give you the opportunity to ask questions?
· Do you feel comfortable in the practice and with the dentist?
· Are they concerned with preventative health, rather than just treating your current problems?
Check that your dentist can provide you with the following information:
· Proof of continuing education. Your dentist should be keeping up to date with the latest advancements, as techniques in clinical dentistry are constantly advancing. A great dentist will undertake continuing education to make sure they stay abreast of the most advanced techniques available and that they can give you the best service possible.
· References. If your dentist has a great track record in keeping their customers happy, then the customers will be pleased to recommend the dentist. Ask your dentist for references from former patients, as word of mouth is often the best recommendation.
· Before and after photos. Before and after photos can show you the results of dental procedures first-hand, as well as displaying the dentist’s skill level and quality of care.
View Lentini Dental’s huge range of before and after photos of dental procedures here.
Find out the operating hours
Is the practice conveniently located for you? Would you prefer them to be located close to work or to home? What hours are they open? Do they offer later nights/earlier mornings/after hours or emergency care? Find a practice which is a match for you in terms of operating hours and location.
Find a dentist you like – and stick with them
Your dentist is someone you’re likely to see regularly over many years, and you should view them as an important partner in keeping your mouth, teeth and gums healthy. Once you find someone you like and who is a good fit for you, you should stick with them over the long term. This will provide you with a consistency of care and service that you won’t be able to find if you chop and change dentists all the time.
To find out why Lentini Dental would be a great partner on your oral health journey, contact us here.