Here are some of my thoughts on Choosing a
It is important for you to have a dentist who
takes a sincere interest in your general health, as well as,
your oral health. For successful dental care, it makes sense
to select and become acquainted with a dentist before a
dental emergency arises.
Dentists in general practice are fully qualified to provide all
aspects of dental care. They will, however, refer certain cases
to specialists, if necessary.
Before selecting a dentist, you may want to consider several.
Just because Dentists have dental degrees doesn't mean they all
practice alike. Here are some ways you can locate a qualified
dentist: ask your parents, friends, neighbors, or co-workers to
recommend a dentist or speak to your family physician or local
pharmacist or contact a local dental specialist, such as an
oral surgeon, for a referral.
Keep the following questions in mind:
Is the dentist prevention oriented?
Does the dentist provide oral health instruction
Does the dentist seem genuinely interested in your
general health situation?
How available is the dentist?
What arrangements does the dentist have for
handling emergencies that occur outside of office
After considering the recommendations, call a
dentist for an appointment. At your first visit,
you should be able to learn a lot about whether he
or she is the right dentist for you.
Try to Evaluate the following:
Is the general appearance of the office appealing?
Is the dentist and the dentist's staff courteous?
Is the appointment schedule convenient for you?
SHOULD BE WILLING TO DISCUSS FEES AND PAYMENT PLANS IN
ADVANCE OF TREATMENT
Be open and frank when consulting your
dentist. Do not try to establish your own diagnosis. Let
your dentist evaluate your particular health situation and
give him all the information he needs. Then discuss the
possible treatment plans suggested for your particular
Don't be embarrassed to ask the dentist about fees. Your
dentist should be willing to discuss fees and payment plans in
advance of treatment.
No dentist will begin treatment without your consent or
approval. Your first appointment may be limited to a simple
diagnostic consultation. If your oral health situation is
particularly complex, it may be reassuring to consult another
dentist for a second opinion.
By spending the small amount of time necessary to make an
intelligent choice of a dentist, you will help create a
harmonious relationship founded on mutual trust and
It's a fact of life: State licensing boards attempt to
establish minimum standards of practice in the community.
Unfortunately, most of us choose to demand more than that from
those with whom we place our trust and our family's health.
Consumers not only want to know how to spend their money
wisely, they want assurances about the quality of dental care
they receive. Because dental care is a highly personalized
health service that varies from patient to patient, it is
difficult to provide hard-and-fast rules about what is "good"
dentistry. The following offers some broad but useful
guidelines for the consumer.
You can have a good experience with dentistry by making the
right choice of a family dentist and by practicing good oral
health care at home between dental visits. Be certain the
practice stresses preventive care and that 24 hour emergency
treatment is available. Expect the staff to be friendly and
treat you as an individual, not "another mouth." The office
should be comfortable, clean, and well organized. Don't be
embarrassed to ask the dentist about fees. The dentist and
his/her staff should be willing to discuss fees and/or
financial arrangements in advance of treatment.