There are so many dentists and dental clinics *out there* that it’s hard to choose, and when you have chosen one, how do you know that’s the right one? The very best dentist you can choose is the one who is more focused on what to do – and what not to do when they are working with a patient. Perhaps you are wondering if the dentist you are seeing now, or one you have seen in the past is top of the line or not. Seeing a dentist is for many a daunting and *scary* thing to do, you need to know your dentist is the best of the best.
All good dentists do the following for their patients –
- LISTENS – a good dentist is there to help you, and a top-notch dentist has honed his or her skills into being a good listener, just as much as they have put their time and effort into learning and studying. A great dentist will take the time to listen to their patient, to hear their concerns, answer questions and never rushes into a treatment they know the patient is uncomfortable with.
- EDUCATES – you are relying on the knowledge your dentist has learned, both through training and through his or her years in the dentistry field. You need him or her to educate you on your oral health, to instil good habits in you and offer options and treatments you may not have been aware of. The dentist that is right for you, is happy to take his or her time to explain options and procedures, to answer questions and to work with you to build your confidence.
- RESPECT – if you seem to always be paying for a treatment you can’t afford, or you’re left sitting in the waiting room because the dentist is running late are both red flags that the dental practice isn’t really valuing you as a patient. Good dentists are punctual, yes, they can get put behind by a procedure that has taken longer than it should have, but not all the time. A good dentist respects your time and takes into consideration your finances when suggesting treatments, which can include swapping out expensive treatments for cheaper options.
- CLEAN – a good dental clinic keeps a clean, neat and tidy office. From sitting in the waiting room to the cubical where the dentist treats you. There shouldn’t be any dirty gloves or instruments left lying around when you walk in everything should be new, sterilised and clean and tidy. A dirty examination room can have germs that can spread, in turn making you and your family sick
- No UPSELLING – you have come to see a dentist – not a salesman, good dentists don’t try and *sell* you products or treatments you just don’t need or want. For example – If you are happy with the colour of your teeth, and haven’t even mentioned it, don’t let the dentist try and sell you on having your teeth whitened.
- GETS TO KNOW YOU – feeling like just another *number* will give you a rather impersonal experience and this can affect how you feel about and experience the treatment you receive. When your dentist gets to know you – to ask questions and knows more of your medical history, he or she will be able to provide you with better care.
- WANTS A LONG-TERM *RELATIONSHIP* – The best dentist is the one who wants to make you a long-term patient, this includes reminding you when it’s time for another appointment, scheduling regular x-rays or cleaning and making you feel welcome each time you come back. If your dentist treats you like a *one-off* patient, it’s time to look elsewhere.
- CARES – Not only should your dentist care about you, he or she should also care about their staff, watch how they interacts with co-workers this will give you an idea of the managerial style and the mood amongst those working with him or her.
- FOLLOW UPS – some procedures are long and can leave you feeling *out of sorts* for a few hours afterwards. A great dentist will follow up with you later, to see if you are okay and make sure there are no complications that could hinder your recovery
- VALUES YOU – you don’t want to feel like an item on the dentists *to-do-list*. The best dentists have a way of letting their patients know they care about them and are interested in you and your family.