“I need to find a good dentist!”. How many times do you hear that phrase banded around? It’s often tricky finding a practice you might like with a dentist you might get on with. Throw in health fund considerations and it becomes a minefield! Below are a few points to consider when making a choice.
1. Welcoming staff. When you pick up the phone to call a practice or walk in to make an appointment for the first time, you would like to be greeted by a friendly and helpful staff member that makes you feel welcome and at ease.
2. Easy making an appointment. Staff at a dental clinic should be able to offer you a range of appointment times to hopefully meet your needs. Some practices offer online booking for convenience, however most will not have their whole appointment book open online so it’s worth while picking up the phone if you can’t find an appointment that suits.
3. Wide range of services offered. Does the practice you have picked offer what it is that you are after? Most practices now a days offer a very wide range of dental services. Most clinics now offer standard dental services in addition to teeth whitening, orthodontics and anti-wrinkle injections.
4. Price. Everyone wants to know what a filling, crown, etc will cost. Most items of service will have a comparable price from one practice to the next, unless it is something very unique and specific. Insurance rebates differ based on a patient’s level of cover. Quoting over the phone in dentistry is almost impossible hence a consultation is necessary during which a specific and exact quote can be given.
5. Preventive dentistry. Does the practice have an ethos of prevention and education. It’s all good and we’ll to fix someone’s issue but if they are not then informed and educated as to how to prevent the issue recurring, then the problem will recur eventually. Communicating and educating patients to help them with their oral health is key.
6. The Dentist. Last but by no means least is the person treating you. Are they nice? Do they have a good chair-side manner? Is their work consistently good? It’s difficult to tell the person’s technical ability for the lay person but if they are nice, easy to talk to and their work does the job, then you’re off on the right foot!
So in conclusion, put all those factors together and if you can tick all the boxes, perhaps you have found the practice for you. Most clinics will also gladly offer emergency services for those poor souls that have that unfortunate excruciating toothache!