For most people, choosing a family dentist is all a matter of location. We all want to get to and from the dentist as quickly as possible in a bid to save time and make the visits less stressful. But the questions remains; are you putting your dental health at risk by choosing the dentist that is closest to you? Do you know if there’s an alternative close by that will give you better care?
On that note; let’s discuss some of the things you should be looking out for when it comes to choosing the best dentist for your family.
Cleanliness & Hygiene
First and foremost, you need to choose someone who meets all industry standards when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness. During your visit to the practice, have a look around and see whether the clinic is clean and tidy. Is all the equipment sanitized? Is the area bright and well-ventilated? Does the dentist, dental nurse and other staff members wear a mask and all essential protective gear? Are they using professional equipment that is fit for purpose? Is there a clean smell? These are all things to look out for.
If you have kids, you know that an emergency can happen at any time. Trying to console a child with a broken tooth is not the easiest job in the world so try and find a dentist that offers emergency dental care. Be sure to read the small print and find out what the emergency hours are and if they can see patients on a 24-hour basis.
One of the most important things you need to look out for when choosing a dentist is client reviews and recommendations. Whether it’s a friend, a neighbour, a work colleague or a family member, be sure to ask around for personal recommendations. Take some time to also check out online reviews from current and previous clients.
You want to choose a dentist that specializes in a wide range of general dentistry treatments so think about the services that are offered. Your kids may need braces in time so choosing someone that specialises in orthodontics may also be a good decision. Would you like to get cosmetic treatments done in the future? If so, choose a clinic that will offer services like bonding, veneers, implants, crowns and teeth whitening.
Support for Nervous Patients
If you or someone in your family suffers from dental phobia, it’s important to ask questions about what kind of provisions can be given to nervous patients. Is the dentist approachable and willing to listen to your concerns about the condition? Do they offer sedatives for those with severe feelings of anxiety? Is the clinic a relaxing place to be? Many dentists now make an extra effort to calm patients by playing soothing music and offering blankets and comfortable pillows to aid with relaxation.
Friendliness & Approachability
Whilst all of the above is very important, you also need to be able to feel comfortable talking to your dentist. You should feel at ease when it comes to examination and asking questions about prices and treatments.