Anyone trying to find a dentist can see that there are many to choose from within any local area. But you want more than just any dental office to help you maintain your best oral health. You want one that respects you as a patient and provides the quality service you deserve.
So how do you know you have found the right one? Are there signs to look for? Below are six signs you are at the right dental office.
1. They listen to you
Listening to patients is very important. Surprisingly, this is not something that all dentists are good at doing. The best ones use their listening skills as much as any other instrument of their practice. You need one that lets you communicate your concerns and takes those seriously. They should never pressure you into a treatment decision that makes you feel uncomfortable.
2. They provide patient education
Patient education is more than a stack of brochures at the reception desk. You need education about any treatment you are to receive, as well as elective procedures at your disposal. Sometimes a good dentist will provide this information verbally during the examination. Or you may receive some tips from the dental hygienist as they conduct your teeth cleaning.
3. They respect your time and money
No one has an unlimited budget for their oral health treatments. Your time is also money and not something to be wasted. A great dental practice does not keep you sitting in the waiting room until well past your appointment time. Sure, all dentists run late in their schedule from time to time and because of unpredictable emergencies. But great dental practitioners respect your time as much as they respect their own. They also provide a range of payment options and help you find the right care solutions to suit your ability to pay.
4. They maintain a clean and inviting dental office
You should never entrust your oral health to a poorly-maintained office. You should find a clean, orderly and neat office every time you visit. If you see things out of order, such as used gloves or unclean instruments left lying around, you should not go through with your treatment. These items and others like them can actually contaminate the exam room, spread germs to you and make you sick.
5. They do not sell to you
Dentists should not act as salespeople. They should provide you with as many options as possible for each of your treatment needs. But they should never encourage you to buy into services not related to your oral health goals.
6. They want to know you
When your dental team asks questions about you on a personal level, they are showing that they care about you as an individual. These small gestures of kindness actually help improve the quality of care provided to you. Getting to know you is important, particularly when it comes to your medical history.
Some Other Signs of Great Dentists
Besides the six signs above, look for a dental office where you see other indicators of your value to the practice. Some of these extra signs of excellent dental care are below:
They invest in you as a long-term patient
A dental office that does not invest in you for the long term is not one invested in your best oral health. You can tell if your chosen practice cares about keeping you as a patient when they take some steps beyond your current visit. Those steps include:
- Following up when it is time for your next visit
- Scheduling your next appointment while you are in the office
- Helping you understand your long-term treatment plan and associated needs
- Making you and your family feel appreciated and recognized during your visit
- Making personal connections with you at the reception desk and chairside
Showing they care about their staff.
Taking care of their staff is one way of taking pride in their work as dental professionals. Treating employees well shows the practice does not want to inflict the chaos of frequent turnover on patients, too.