How To Find The Perfect Dentist For You : The Ultimate Guide
Not sure how to find the right dentist for you? Look no further! We have some tips and tricks to help you through your dental journey.
Don’t settle for the first dentist that you come across, Your health is the most important factor in your search for the perfect dentist. You need it to be time well spent, as it will take time to find what is best for you, and you know what they say… time is money! . The world of dentistry can be very daunting, BUT the right understanding of what to look out for when going to the dentist will make this less of a toothache! The best way to start your search is just by doing what we all do best…speaking with your friends and family!
Word of mouth!
The best way to start your search would be to speak with close friends and family! There is a good chance your parents, grandparents, or older / younger siblings are already at a dentist they can trust. There is no point in looking through clinical pictures that dentists have been posting on their social media pages, as from a patient’s point of view, you will not know what you are looking at, and especially will not know the quality as you have nothing to compare it to. The next best source apart from speaking to your loved ones would be right at the click of a button! Drum roll, please…… Google reviews! Google has created a way for patients and customers can leave reviews about their experiences which goes hand in hand with finding good feedback.
Most businesses use Google reviews. It is a free service used by businesses such as dental practices which helps the customers to see from the outside how the business is performing and what type of feedback they are getting from their patients. Use this as a method to help see what types of reviews are left from patients from the dentist within your area. However, google reviews is not a regulated service, do not be put off by a few bad reviews – see this as a positive! The nature of the beast in life, is people do leave bad reviews… but it will help you to see how the practice responds. You are looking for signs of attentiveness, receptive to the review and taking time to care for the problem.
If you are looking for a dental practice that covers all aspects of general dentistry, for example, hygiene treatments, fillings, or crowns, then social media may not be the place to look. If a dentist uses his Instagram for educational purposes then feel free to explore their social media pages and see what they can offer. Social media is a powerful tool that enables dentists to showcase their work and gain recognition for themselves, and when looking for cosmetic work it is a great place to search before and after’s, but if you are looking for a more local dentist who does general dentistry then you might want to search more locally.
Living la Vida Local
Find somewhere local, it’s as simple as that. I do not mean you have to find the closest dentist to where you live, but maintenance is key and there is no need to find a dentist that is 2 hours away from that. There are great dentists everywhere, go on Google and search ‘FIND A DENTIST NEAR ME‘ and just spend time looking through their reviews and ratings.
If you require any emergency dental work and your dentist is far away, this will cause problems for you, proximity is important. If you are prone to regular dental issues and in case of a dental emergency, then the closer to home the better. Keep your health at the forefront of your mind.
Ding Ding, Round 1! NHS vs Private
We are all to say thank you to the NHS workers who work hard to enable a cheaper healthcare dental system here for us in the UK. If you are unsure about whether to go NHS or PRIVATE, here are some differences between them and what to look out for.
- Private means there is NO NHS work offered in the practice.
- NHS practice means they offer mixed treatments of NHS and private.
As a patient, it will be very hard to know exactly what standard of dental work you should be looking out for. Word of mouth is a very helpful tool when looking to be seen privately or by a dentist that provides both NHS and private services, however, how is a patient to know what standard high-quality dental work comes under. When speaking with close friends or family, good quality work may be seen as, good communication between dentist and patient, do they listen to you? or do they dismiss you? do they recommend other dentists to do the work if they cannot? Rather than what products and tools they are using.
NHS is an amazing service to those who benefit from it, here at Enlighten we have our fair share of stories from patients. We got to know this man who was in his late 70s and he had an infection in his tooth, he went to his dentist asking for painkillers as he did not have the money to pay for the tooth extraction at the time. Regardless of the situation, the mans tooth was removed and he then returned back shortly after once his pension money came in. The NHS is an amazing lifeline for people who really need the help of funded services.
The NHS generally has longer waiting times and shorter appointments due to high demand, if this is something you wish to explore for yourself then do some research on highly rated NHS dental practices in your area.
Looking for treatments that an NHS dentist can not provide? then look no further. Private dentistry not only offers general dentistry such as tooth extractions, fillings, root canals, etc but they also specialize in cosmetic dentistry too – whitening, bonding, aligning, and much much more. Private dentists can set their own costs, the treatment is accompanied by longer appointments, faster wait times, and more specialist service.
Once you have established which side of dentistry works for you, and have found a dentist you feel comfortable seeing, book a consultation to meet the team. Speak to the receptionist when you enter, and get yourself feeling comfortable in the practice.
A date with your dentist..oh la la
Treat your dental appointment like a date. Your first appointment is important, so do your best at getting to know them. Going for a consultation is going to be the first step to meeting them and figuring out if they are the dentist for you. Feeling comfortable enough to be able to have a conversation and ask questions is very important. Although you are not going to know all the technical procedures your dentist works in or the type of materials he uses or even the tools, it is still always good to have an understanding of the procedure and let them talk you through it.
What important factors make a great dentist?
A great dentist is someone who is patient and listens to you when you have questions to ask about any concerns. The dentist should give you a breakdown of what is going to happen throughout the appointment so you are fully aware which will help you understand more. The check-up should also be very thorough, they should take X-RAYS and photographs and then explain what is being shown to you. Following this should be a treatment plan, this is something you both should come up with together, the dentist should be giving you plenty of options regarding budget with no added pressure. They should let you go home to think about what route feels most comfortable going down.
Another sign about your dentist is to see how he treats his staff and nurses. A comfortable environment is a happy environment. As a patient you should never feel or see any conflict between dentist and nurse, they are a team and teams need to work together to maintain a peaceful and non-stressful surrounding for everyone.
If a dentist can make you feel comfortable and you feel in safe hands, then this is the first step to looking after your oral health. This is going to be impacted positively because as a patient you will want to return to the practice again. If a dentist is dismissive and doesn’t listen to your problems, then you won’t want to return, which is where your dental hygiene will become a problem. This is where you will be able to spot a dentist who does not have your best interest at heart, has poor communication skills, struggles to listen to your immediate problems, or does not recommend other dentists who may be able to do the work.
Recommendations are important
Recommendations from your dentist are a positive sign. If you go to see your NHS dentist and you have noticeable chips on your teeth and you want them gone, this is going to be a procedure that a cosmetic dentist would be best at solving. Ask if they have any recommendations of dentists they would trust putting you forward to.
Not every dentist is going to be able to cover all areas of dentistry and some dentists specialize in certain areas. It is important to know that there are other avenues you can explore for different types of treatments.
If they can show you work they have done on other patients that fits your criteria and you are happy to proceed then discuss this further with them. However, do not assume that the everyday dentist that you visit for check-ups will be able to give you a full set of composite veneers. Do your research, ask around, talk to your friends and family or ask your dentist.
Now that you are equipped with what there is to know about how to find the perfect dentist for you, click below for any further information you want to know about Enlighten!
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