By Dr. Caroline Thomas, Lexington, SC
Trust is a major factor...
Trust is a major factor in a positive dentist/patient relationship. With so many dental offices from which to choose these days, read below to determine how to find a trustworthy dentist who truly has your best interests at heart.
“How do I know I can trust my dentist?” This is a question we are frequently asked by friends or family members who live out of town and are unable to come to Palmetto Dental Associates in Lexington, SC. With the advent of corporately-owned dental offices popping up on what seems like every corner, it is important to know the characteristics of a trustworthy dentist.
Ask your friends which dentist they see and why they enjoy the practice.
Word-of-mouth referrals are still the absolute best, because who can you better trust than your friends and family. Also check out the practice’s online Google reviews. Many dental offices also have a Facebook page where patients can leave reviews as well.
Look for a practice with an up-to-date website, ideally with real-patient case photos and not stock photos.
You can easily tell the general quality of dentistry being performed at a practice with a quick glance at the before and after photos. It is also a plus if a practice website has a blog section that is updated frequently. A blog lets you know that the practice is actively seeking to remain relevant and on the cutting-edge of dentistry, all while educating their patients.
Look for an office with courteous front desk team members when you call to make your new patient appointment.
They should take time to tell you about the office and assist you with any questions you may have. Ideally, you want to choose an office that schedules you to first see the dentist for a comprehensive new patient exam vs. your first appointment being for a dental cleaning. There are several different types of dental cleanings, and there is no way to know which type of hygiene appointment you will need until the dentist examines you.
The first time you meet the dentist and have a comprehensive exam, he or she should spend quality, unhurried time (usually 1.5 hours) getting to know you, your mouth, and your overall health history.
The dentist should collect intraoral photos and radiographs (xrays) of your teeth and place these on a screen to show you potential problems and explain options for correction. This brings us to our next point - options. No dentist should dictate to you what treatment you have to have. It is his or her job to point out everything that is not ideal with your teeth, and then you both should determine the correct treatment options for your personal and financial situation.
Overall, use your intuition and advice from close friends and family to help you determine if you should trust a specific dentist. Below are some qualities of a dentist you will want to stay with for years to come!…
- Involved in the community (local service organizations, church, etc.)
- Takes time for thorough explanations while making eye contact
- Does not rush through procedures
- Respects your input; listens to your dental concerns and takes them into consideration prior to making a treatment plan
- Displays a genuine interest in you and your family