Choosing a dentist is a challenging yet critical task. Any wrong move can result in serious complications. These complications can take a toll on your overall physical and financial well-being. It is thus important you come up with a strategy on how to choose a good dentist. Here is what we recommend.
Ask for Referrals
You need to ask for referrals from workmates, friends and relatives who have visited a dentist before. Someone who had a good experience with his or her dentist will be more than willing to refer you to him. Only ask those you trust. There are some people who have malicious intentions and can lead you to a dentist who will only make the situation worse. If you don’t have a friend, workmate or relative to ask, you can reach out to your regular doctor for some recommendations. Your doctor most likely knows one or two dentists he has worked with in the past. You may also look for a list of local dentists, e.g. for a dentist based in Eltham, who are members of local dental society in your region.
Do Some Background Checks
Do not settle for a recommended dentist without doing further research on him. Just because your friend had a good experience with him does not mean you will also have the same. You need to look into the dentist’s track record, academic qualifications, credentials and reputation. Make sure the dentist attended a fully accredited medical school and passed all the relevant exams. The dentist should also have a practice license from the state regulatory body and the American Dental Association. If you are looking for a specialist, such as an orthodontist or implant dentist, make sure he is accredited by the relevant regulatory bodies in his area of specialty. The right dentist should also have a good reputation. You can check online review platforms to see what people say about the dentist you have in mind. Avoid someone who has negative reviews. You may also have an experience similar to the one his reviewers had. You should also consider someone who has a high rate of success in his practice.
An interview provides you with a perfect opportunity to confirm your doubts about a particular dentist. Make sure you ask the dentist as many questions as possible to help you make an informed decision. For instance, you need to ask what areas the dentist specializes in, how he handles emergencies and what his office hours are. The dentist should tell you how he plans to correct your problem and whether he will work with other staff members. You should also know how much the treatment will cost and what forms of payments are available. A serious dentist should also give you a list of references. Get at least three references and ask them about their experience with the dentist. Let them show you their teeth to see whether the outcome is what you would want. Ask them how long it took to get the best results and whether they would recommend the dentist to someone. From this, you can know whether the person you are about to work with has done an impressive job on his past clients.
But remember, nothing beats a good oral hygiene routine 😉