31 Jul What Are the Signs of a Good Dentist
We all desire to build a trusting relationship with our doctors. From physicians to dentists, we want to feel confident they are qualified to care for us and have a genuine interest in our wellbeing. If you are one of nearly 40 million Americans who have moved from one state to another, finding a new dentist can be particularly difficult. Online, the list is long and search results may yield one office after another claiming to be “the best”. Whether you are new to the area or simply looking to make a change, what are the signs of a good dentist?
Conduct Your Own Research
Before scheduling an appointment, start with a little at-home research. The internet is a great resource for reviewing and learning about local dental offices.
Check the Reviews – Start by preparing a list of local dentists. Go online and read the reviews. Google is one source, and there are also medical-focused review sites such as www.healthgrades.com. Most of the time, dentist offices will have an independent, certified provider that collects patient reviews, in addition to online scheduling and email and message appointment reminders. These services, like Demandforce, LightHouse 360 and others enable more convenient way for actual patients to provide feedback and can generate many valid and useful reviews (check our reviews here). Take time to disseminate the reviews to understand what is being said about the dental provider.
Board Certified – Board Certification can be of great help when choosing a specialist. According to the American Board of Dental Specialties, “Board Certification is the process by which dentists, physicians, or other healthcare practitioners in the United States demonstrate through written, oral, practical, and/or simulator based testing, a mastery of the basic knowledge and skills that define an area of dental/medical specialization.” Conduct a search through the ADA or your state government website to confirm the dentist’s credentials.
Ask Your Friends – There is nothing better than a personal recommendation. Ask your friends about their dentist. New to town? Ask your colleagues or check on your dental insurance website.
Schedule an Appointment
Once you have identified a dentist and have scheduled an appointment, take your research to their office. These additional tips will guide you in further determining if this dentist will become your dentist.
- The waiting and exam rooms are clean
From the first point of walking in the door, is the waiting room clean? Keep in mind large waiting rooms, fancy furniture and coffee stations do not determine the cleanliness of the office. Look at the floors, tables, reception counter. Is it clean? Once in the exam room look around. Used gloves and dirty instruments out in the open should be a warning sign to hygiene and potential bacteria.
- The staff appear happy
Happy staff are a sign that your dentist is respectful, attentive, and caring. Does the team seem like they like each other? A positive and caring environment is a sign of how they are likely to treat their patients.
- Listens and asks questions
A qualified dentist wants to learn about you; will ask questions and listen to your concerns. Speak up and express any anxiety or specific mouth concerns so your dentist can make an accurate assessment. This two-way relationship can only be successful through communication.
- Reviews previous dental records
If you are a new patient, the dental office should request previous dental records to understand the history of your mouth and any work performed. If this is a repeat dentist, they should review your previous charts to determine any changes to your mouth.
- Checks on you during the exam
Yes, it is hard to talk when you mouth is propped open and the suction tube is gathering saliva, but a good dentist or dental hygienist will ask if you are okay during the procedure. As a matter of education and comfort, they will keep you informed of their actions throughout the exam.
Our mouth. We use it to talk, chew, breathe, and smile. We flash our pearly whites when we see a friend. The health of our teeth, gums, and tongue have a direct systemic effect on our overall body health. Invest the time to get to know your dentist. If you sense something is not right, if the dentist is not meeting your criteria for qualifications and comfort, it may be time to move on.
Through continued education, integrity of actions and focused communication, Imperial Dental Center cares for our patients as we would our own family. Call today to schedule an initial assessment.
Dr. Dragana Angelova
Imperial Dental Center
We Love to See You Smile!