Consider These Factors When Choosing Your Dentist
Are you satisfied with the dental treatment you’re receiving?
Many people are more diligent in selecting the hairstylist who takes care of their hair than the dentist who takes care of their mouth. But with increasing attention being paid to selecting quality health care professionals, objective criteria are emerging to help patients make informed choices in the dental as well as the medical professionals they select.
Based on what has appeared in print about the subject, here are seven concerns or questions you may want to consider when evaluating your dental care professional:
1. Does the dentist appear to have and use the latest technology such as digital x-rays, laser cavity detection, non-invasive, oral cancer screening devices, computerized anesthesia-delivery systems, and the latest in cad-cam technology for crown construction, for example? Use of technology, and upgrading of equipment and installation of new equipment, suggests patients are benefiting from state-of-the-art dental health care.
2. Does your dentist’s office appear well organized and are the staff efficient and friendly toward you? You’ll be dealing frequency with the front office personnel, so if they come across as anything less than courteous, considerate and supportive, you may feel more comfortable with a more “patient-friendly” practice.
3. Is the treatment painless? Advances in medication and technology, including computerized anesthesia-delivery systems, enable patients to undergo dental procedures virtually pain-free. A dentist should never discourage anti-pain medication by saying something along the lines of “It won’t hurt very much”.
4. Do your new crowns, laminates or filled teeth “look like” teeth? They should! Repairs of, or to, your teeth should appear natural; they should “blend in” with your regular teeth. One color, like one size, is not appropriate for all.
5. Does your dentist phone or e-mail you after a major procedure to make sure that you are comfortable with the work performed and that all your questions have been answered regarding any post-dental work procedures to follow?
6. If you’re complaining about the look or fit of a crown, or the comfort of your bite, your dentist should never tell you “You’ll get used to it”. That’s a sign that something is wrong and should be attended to. No patient should have to get used to “poor dentistry”. The only thing you may have to adjust to is a removable dental appliance such as dentures.
7. Do recently done crowns, fillings, or inlays fall out relatively frequently? Although this may happen occasionally, it should not happen on a regular basis if proper dental procedures are followed at the outset.