If you are about to choose a new dentist, you need to be very circumspect, especially if you are getting ready for treatments that are very expensive, or require frequent or multiple visits. Here are the 5 things we recommend taking a very close look at while meeting them.
Factors for choosing a dentist: credentials
The first thing you may want to check is if the dentist is qualified at all. Do they have their diploma on the wall, is it readily noticeable? Usually, a dental clinic will have all of their registrations and other qualifications of its dentists in plain sight: framed and on the wall, or visible on their website. If a dental clinic or dentist does not have any visible qualifications, do not hesitate to ask for them, as this should not be a problem for a dentist to produce. If a dentist refuses to produce their diploma, then this is cause for alarm, and you may want to look for a different clinic.
Factors for choosing a dentist: chairside manner
Good manners and sensitivity towards patients is not just a quality that reassures patients and makes the entire procedure more comfortable, it is also a quality that requires empathy, understanding and a patient centric view of the world. These are qualities that will make sure that this and any future dental treatments will be performed with the utmost care, and this is something you definitely want in the long run. A good dentist will maintain a professional attitude and good chair side manner even if there is considerable stress.
Factors for choosing a dentist: cleanliness, equipment in the dental clinic
When going for that initial, all important first consultation, take a look at the equipment and the surroundings. You should be in a clinical environment, with well cared for and well-functioning machines, surrounded by cleanliness and friendly staff. If this is not the case, and there is dirt, grime, blood, or an unkempt atmosphere, you should definitely look for a different clinic.
Factors for choosing a dentist: the staff
You can tell a lot about a person by the people that s/he surrounds themselves with. This is true in both a personal and a professional setting as well. If the staff are rude, unkempt, unsympathetic to a troubled patient, chances are the dentist is either aloof and does not care, or is unprofessional, and should not be worked with.
Factors for choosing a dentist: Treatment plans and accounting
With dental treatments, sometimes there are hidden costs that only become apparent once treatment has already started; that is just the nature of the procedures (only some of them). But a dentist should still have a detailed and itemised treatment plan that lists all of the procedures and how much they will cost, so the patient can budget and knows roughly how much a treatment will cost. If a dentist does not have one and cannot produce one, it is time to move to a different dental clinic.