How to Choose the Right Family Dental Clinic
Selecting the right dental clinic is an important decision, most people prefer getting a consultation from their family dentist. One important factor that influences people’s decision is trust, they feel more comfortable visiting a dentist who has been taking care of their oral health since their childhood. Some of us still go to the same clinic where our parents took us when we were kids. However, not all people would visit the same dentist as adults. This is due to the fact that dental practitioners are opening up newer clinics that are equipped with better technology & their treatment options might be more advanced.
People are often anxious or nervous before their dental appointment as they are not sure if it would be a pleasant experience. What we need to understand is that our dentist will be our partner in oral health. Keeping our oral health in check through routine check-ups is necessary if we want to avoid dental diseases. For those of us who have never visited a dentist or are looking to switch to another dental clinic, here are a few pointers that should be considered.
1. List down recommendations:
As mentioned earlier, having faith and placing your trust on the dentist is key. One would want to feel comfortable & secure about the capabilities of the dentist they are about to visit. Get in touch with your social circle & understand what kind of experience they had at their dental clinic. Take some time to research about the dentist, check out their website to see their credentials & their experience in the industry. This activity will help you narrow down your list & look for the best options in your locality.
2. Know the dentist’s areas of expertise
Before taking an appointment, you must know whether the particular dentist has expertise in the kind of treatment you are looking for. Every dentist offers various treatments & their methodologies might differ as well. You might be having a certain dental condition but what if the dentist doesn’t offer those procedures to help your cause? For instance, if you are suffering with a gum disease, you will be looking for a periodontist who offers periodontal treatments. If you are looking for paediatric services, make sure to go for a practitioner who excels in children’s dentistry.
3. Experience matters
Nobody prefers being treated by an inexperienced dental practitioner. Experience matters a lot in this industry. People usually have an opinion that positive outcomes & results are more likely to be achieved when an experienced dentist is treating them. Also, there are different types of dental specialities & sub-specialities, so if we are considering something specific like orthodontics or endodontics, additional training is a must. It’s helpful to know how many patients with your specific condition have been treated by the dentist. If you are in need of a very specific procedure to be done, one must also be aware about the complication rates- that is the number of complications the dentist has encountered & what are the successful approaches they utilize to deal with it.
4. Communicate freely
There should not be any communication barrier whatsoever between the patient & the dentist. You will be required to openly discuss personal information as well at times to help your cause & help the dentist to understand the problem better. So, it is a must to feel comfortable with your dentist, where in some scenarios the gender of your dentist might play a role as well. Dentists are becoming more skilled in caring for men & women differently. If you are in a position where you are unable to communicate with your dentist freely or if the dentist fails to understand & convey something to you, this can lead to complications & you might need to start looking for another dental clinic.
5. Telehealth Services
It’s a proven fact that technology can be time and cost effective. It is actually possible that you can save the time to drive up to your dental clinic for something which can be communicated through a video call with your dentist. In some cases, certain conditions can be managed by sending symptoms & vital signs collected at home & having a ‘virtual visit’ with your dentist. These services may also include a routine follow-up or minor complaints, making it a more convenient option. These services are referred to as telehealth services. By no means, do these replace the hands-on in person dental clinic visits. Before making your decision, you must know whether the dentist offers telehealth services.
6. Analysing the behaviour
There are some dental clinics where the dentists don’t encourage their patients to ask a lot of questions. This is because, such clinics always have many appointments lined up & the dentist does not have much time to offer to a single patient. You must choose a dentist who supports your information needs, encourages you to ask more questions about your own oral health. When you first meet a dentist, ask them a question & see how are they responding. Are they welcoming your questions & answering them in ways that you understand? If you feel rushed & are not having that engagement, maybe that’s not the right dentist for you. Look for a dentist who shows some level of interest in getting to know you. A dentist who takes that effort might also consider your treatment preferences in certain situations where you need to make a decision.
7. Positive Reviews Matter
Even though it is possible that some dental clinics may publish made up reviews on various platforms to attract newer patients, it is also possible to find some genuine feedback about the dental clinic & the treatments carried out by the dentists. Going through genuine feedback & the experience of other patients is a great option to discover insights about how the dentist operates & delivers his treatment options. It’s called the classic word-of-mouth referral. You may also come across feedback about how the clinic schedules appointments, what the wait times are, the clinic environment and about the non-clinical staff at the clinic. Reading these reviews can help you understand the approach of the dentist & their behaviour towards every patient as well.
You don’t want to be waiting for weeks before you land up an appointment at the dental clinic. And most definitely you will be needing an appointment to see a dentist unless it’s a medical emergency. The office team at the clinic should be able to schedule an appointment within a reasonable amount of time. If it is a consistent problem to get an appointment & you are waiting for longer periods, you should look for other options.
9. Timing & Location
Making time for routine dental visits can be challenging at times. The timings of the clinic & its location can play a role depending on your schedule. A dental clinic that is usually operational at a time that is suitable for you can be helpful. Also, you want to make it a point that it is a feasible option to travel & reach the clinic for routine check-ups. Parking availability is another important factor that you need to look for while choosing a dental clinic.
We hope that these pointers help you & your family choose the right dental clinic. We at Dr. Kumarswamy’s Dental Clinic are always looking forward to help patients get the best treatment possible.