There are few things in the world as intimidating as having someone tinkering around in your mouth! However, dental care doesn’t have to be a necessary evil if you exercise due diligence. And—to be honest—not all dentists are created equal.
It’s important to choose your dentist wisely, as dental visits help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and a plethora of other health conditions linked to a lack of dental care.
The best dental providers possess a set of features that are strong indicators of quality care and patient satisfaction.
Here are 5 factors that you should consider when choosing a dentist:
With something as precious as your smile, it’s paramount to choose a dentist that has not a good reputation but an excellent one. That said, reputation takes time to build, so you’re safer choosing a dental practice with a lot of experience.
A strong indicator of reputation is patient reviews. There’s nothing more reassuring than testimonials. Check out Google reviews for ratings and short blurbs from dental patients.
Also, don’t forget to verify that your prospective dentist is in good standing with the American Dental Association.
2. Services Offered
First and foremost, your dentist should be a supplementary service, not the main source of your dental care. You should always be doing your part to maintain a healthy smile—and definitely avoid smoking.
If you must have a dental procedure done, make sure you’re not going to be constantly referred out to other dental providers. Outsourced care puts you at a greater risk of being a victim of mediocre service.
You want to go with a high-quality, one-stop shop for your oral health, so make sure you contact dentists that offer a complete package of cosmetic dentistry with high-quality preventative care and robust restorative dentistry.
Here’s a checklist of restorative dentistry care procedures that you should keep an eye out for:
- Dental fillings
- Dental Implants
- Dental Bridges
- Dental Crowns
- Non-Surgical Root Canals
- Oral Surgery
3. Advanced Technology
If a dentist doesn’t keep up to date with the latest advancements in dentistry, it shows their aversion to switching to better practices.
Why is it a bad thing to keep things the same? When we’re talking about your smile, nothing should be short of excellent, and excellence requires change. Simple as that.
Advanced technology not only improves the quality of care through more precise methods, it also makes things quicker, so it saves you time.
These are some of the latest technologies you should look for in a dental practice:
A CEREC Primescan Intraoral Dental Scanner
CEREC stands for “Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics.” That’s a mouthful and sounds awfully complicated, but it makes your dental office visit easy and convenient for certain procedures.
This dental scanner:
- Creates a precise dental 3D image of your mouth in just a few minutes without the need for any of that outdated, uncomfortable putty.
- Provides more in-depth imaging of your teeth, which means more precision and higher success rates at catching the early stages of tooth decay. More precision also means that trays and prosthetics fit better.
iTero Dental Scanner
Like CEREC, the iTero Dental Scanner is quick and precise.
This dental scanner:
- Takes a 3D scan of teeth and gums, allowing your dentist to obtain a comprehensive view of your oral health.
- Is used for restorative care and orthodontic work.
- Is utilized for the creation of Invisalign, which straightens your teeth without braces.
CBCT – Conebeam 3D Imaging Head Scanner
The “Cone Beam Computed Tomography” 3D Head Scanner takes a profoundly detailed X-Ray image of your face, throat, and jaw with 1/10th of the radiation used in regular X-Rays.
- Captures images of your teeth, bones, soft tissue, and nerves.
- Is used to assess oral surgical planning, temporomandibular joint disorder, and other complex conditions and treatments.
Have you ever called the dentist and heard the words “please hold,” and then you’re put on hold for what seems to be an eternity only to schedule an appointment for several months into the future? In today’s fast-paced world, this is unacceptable.
Easy access is essential, especially if you have a pressing matter, whether it be esthetic or restorative. A good dentist respects your time as much as they expect you to value theirs.
Patient-focused dental offices are reachable by email, phone, and through their websites, but, equally as important, they are prompt in responding.
As suggested previously, going to the dentist can be nerve-wracking, so make sure that everything from the appointment setting to the care provided is going to be as stress-free as possible. And who wants to deal with bad customer service at the dentist’s office anyway?
Never compromise on staff friendliness and willingness to help. You’ll find some dental clinics that are so patient-oriented that they’ll even let you wear headphones during procedures so you can feel at ease while listening to your favorite song-list or podcast.
When first contacting your soon-to-be dental provider, take note of the way they treat you during that interaction; it should give you an idea of how friendly and patient-focused the staff is. This initial encounter is a great way to gauge how you’ll be treated in person.
If you exercise your due diligence by securing a dental office with these five features, then your experience will be worthwhile. Not only will you increase your chances of feeling at ease throughout the whole process, you’ll also contribute to achieving the best quality standards for your oral care.
About the Creator
Aaron is a content strategist and consultant in support of STEM firms and medical practices. He covers industry developments and helps companies connect with clients. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.