Choosing the right dentist is pretty difficult. To us laymen they all have much the same qualifications, much the same surgeries and the same type of staff. In order to qualify as a dentist you have to have a minimum of 5 years in university and a basic grounding in medicine. So how should you choose the right dentist?
Family and Friend Recommendations
The chances are the people around you can recommend a dentist that they have been going to for a number of years. This is often a good indication of how proficient someone will be but remember that they most people don’t actually know what a good dentist is. And a dental practice has lots of different dentists working for it.
Internet Review Sites
Sites like yell and yelp offer review services to anyone who wants to post reviews. These can be a good indication of the quality of services that are offered at a local practice. But again we need to bear in mind that often people only post bad reviews and sometimes reviews are fake. Also be warned that companies can influence these results by creating fake reviews of a business or by forcing bad reviews to be removed. An example of this is this post from the Daily Mail where a patient was sued after leaving an inaccurate negative review. Overall internet review sites aren’t really that easy to trust.
Talking to Dentists
The easiest way to find the right dentist for you is to actually talk to dentists. This is particularly important if you get anxious about visiting the dentist or if you have serious problems that need addressing. Before making an appointment you should ask to speak to the dentist that will be seeing you and ask him or her lots of questions. Often you will find that the dentist themselves will be able to put you at ease and you’ll get a good indication of whether you will actually get a good level of service from them. If they won’t take your call or are too busy to call you back then you are likely to feel rushed through your appointment and won’t get the level of service that you probably want from a dentist.
Finally the most important decision is of course based on costs. You will need to ask your dentist to provide a clear breakdown of the costs of any treatments you want. Ask what kind of treatments are provided and check whether your insurance, or in the UK the NHS, will cover all or some of the treatments available. Any dentist that won’t actually provide a clear breakdown of costs isn’t worth visiting in the first place – as you may find yourself faced with a really bad bill that you can’t afford to pay.