A visit to the dentist is scary under the best of circumstances, as it is, without adding the extra pressure of meeting a new dentist. This is a situation that often arises when older dentists retired, patients change locations or are dissatisfied with their previous dentist or even as some practices fold.
Internet is the best source to find the dentist in your area. Local dental directory plays an important role for finding the ideal dentist for you and your family. Dental Insider is the largest directory in the USA where you can find a good dentist with patient reviews about them.
Of course, when I say this, I mean the appearance and maintenance of the clinic instead of the dentist’s fashion sense. A good dentist is the one who realizes that a clean and well-ventilated clinic is essential to offer a good treatment. A well-organized, garbage-free work area with trained auxiliary personnel is a good sign. It also means that standard practices such as strict sterilization protocols are more likely to be followed. The waiting area should be designed to help patients feel comfortable while waiting their turn. Research has shown that this is one of the most harrowing moments for anxious patients.
Talk to your dentist
Judging a dentist, or any person for that matter, is only possible if you interact with that person. While it is not possible to physically satisfy every dentist in your area before receiving treatment, you may have some favorites. Reach this list through personal recommendations of people you trust and know have had good experiences receiving treatment, along with comments from people posted online. Online reviews can be a bit tacky at times as websites have been known to promote people who pay for their services, as well as false reviews are very common nowadays.
A good dentist will take the time to listen to you and then offer possible treatment plans. The pros and cons of each option should be told to you from the beginning and an idea of the final outcome of the treatment should be provided. These treatment plans must take into account several options such as time, money, invasiveness and long-term success.
Training and support
Patients are often surprised to discover that dentistry offers ten different fields of expertise for doctors. There is a large amount of overlap between various areas of expertise operationally and this has only added to the confusion of the patient. Legally also, general dentists and specialized dentists are allowed to practice almost all procedures that feel competent performance.
This sometimes leads to dentists who perform certain procedures so that they are able to perform adequately at the best place to refer patients to the corresponding specialist. The reasons for this may be commercial for the fear of losing the patient or simply an estimate on their own ability.
Try to choose a dentist who is a specialist in one field and has a panel of experts from the others. A comprehensive treatment plan involves close coordination between dentists of different specialties and what you have in the home access makes things easier for you and your dentist.
The choice of a dentist: Training, record keeping and the cost of treatment
The field of dentistry continues to change with new materials, less invasive techniques and the change of schools of thought on the best treatment options. It is imperative that your dentist be aware of these advances and introduce them into your practice.
This part is a bit difficult for you to judge, however look for things like subscriptions to scientific journals, training certificates or even images of the conferences you attended. You can also look at the latest treatment options through the Internet and ask your dentist about them. Ideally he / she would be well versed in it and will be offered at the clinic.
Monitoring and maintenance record
All well-equipped modern clinics now have a comprehensive patient management system. It is the duty of each dentist to be responsible for the long-term maintenance of all treatment and follow-up of records. Having a complete record at your fingertips can not be something that immediately feels like something that has a direct impact on your treatment however, it is one of the most important facets of running a dental clinic.
A large part of maintaining good long-term dental health depends on the regularity of reminder check-up. The frequency of this has to be personalized for each patient depending on oral hygiene, systemic health and the nature of the treatment provided. Talking to someone who is providing these services will help you know that the dentist is efficient and following current protocols.
The cost of treatment
This is a bit complicated, as it can vary from person to person and what is considered affordable or fair. Paying too much or too little for routine procedures should raise a flag however. The question is how to know if you are paying too much or too little?
You can ask your dentist an estimate of the cost of the procedures provided before hand and then compare it with what other dentists of similar reputation and experience are charging for the same procedure. If the dentist is charging less than the standard rates, then it is likely that some compromise is being made with the sterilization protocols, materials being used and the implementation of modern technology.
This works the other way also from beyond a certain point, the money that is spent no longer contributes to a better treatment. Ideally, your dentist should be almost in line with other dentists of similar experience. You should also offer good treatment options at various price points and you should be able to work with your insurance company.
It may seem a little difficult to find all the qualities of a dentist with ease, however, I have faith in our profession and I believe that the vast majority of dentists follow standard practices and are trained to make the best decisions for their well-being. There are many more good ones out there that do not. Following this simple list will help you find a dentist that you will not want to lose very easily. Simply go to the Dental Insider directory and type “Dental Offices Near Me”, you will find a big list of experienced dentists in the USA.