Finding a good dentist and dental clinic is something we usually don’t think about until we need one and by then, it may be too late to really make the right choice.
Here is Dental Holiday’s short checklist to make sure you don’t make a mistake that can be painful; both physically and financially.
Some dentists don’t like to take the time to meet in a relaxed and personal atmosphere with their patient and actually consult with them on their dental needs. The experienced dentist and good dental staff, won’t just give you a brochure to browse through, choose your dental treatment and then put you in the chair and begin work. Avoid this type of dentist and dental clinic. The one-to-one consultation with the dentist is extremely important. It allows you to discuss your dental needs, any questions you may have about treatment and for some of us, possibly fears you may have regarding your dental treatment. Brochures and other information are nice to have after the consultation to help you remember, but not as a replacement for a consultation with the dentist.
If your dentist starts using technical terms you don’t understand or you are confused in any way, stop him/her and ask for very clear and concise explanations. Remember, this is your mouth, teeth and smile. Any type of medical procedure, including a cosmetic one, can sound like mumbo-jumbo and our normal reaction is not say, ”yes I understand”, when in fact, you have no idea what he/she just said. Having your dental diagnosis explained in plain language doesn’t mean you’re stupid, it means you are smart! A skilled and professional dentist won’t mind explaining. A good dentist will speak in a language you understand.
3. Discussing your options
Don’t wait until the work has been started and you’re sitting in the chair with your mouth open, trying to ask questions about the procedure. A good dentist and treatment coordinator, should explain everything to you prior to any dental treatment work starting. The procedure should be outlined and there shouldn’t be any confusion once treatment has started.
4. Wearing you down
A good dentist and dental staff will NOT wear you down until you just give in and decide on the treatment they want you to have. You should not feel pressured to make any decisions on dental treatment until you are ready to take the step. Dental treatment is something you will have for a long time or in some cases forever. Make sure you know all the options; good points, after effects of the treatment and all costs associated with the treatment plan. Good clinics will provide a list of expenses without any hidden costs.
5. Before and After Care
Once you have decided on a dental treatment plan, make sure you know all the before and after dental care instructions, plus any guarantees the dental clinic offers on their work. For example; if you are not supposed to have hard food after a treatment, make sure you don’t eat a steak and break your temporary crown. Or if you are a smoker, you may not be able to smoke after some dental treatments. It is important to read all information your dentist and/or the dental care staff provides before treatment begins. In regards to guarantees…good dentists and clinics will make sure you are aware of any guarantees on their work. For example; does the dentist offer a 5-year guarantee on veneers? What about crowns or bridges?
Ask your dentist and/or clinic for testimonials and reviews from past patients, especially patients that have had the same treatment you are considering. Good dentists and clinics will have these types of reviews and referrals. If patients are truly happy with their treatment, they will have no problem in telling others.