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Finding a good dentist can be nerve wracking. Here are some 'insider tips' to look for things that separate the wheat from the chaff.

A visit to the dentist is scary under the best of circumstances as it is, without adding the extra pressure of meeting a new dentist. This is a situation that arises often as older dentists retire, patients shift locations or are unhappy with their previous dentist or even as some practices fold up.

So how can you be sure you have chosen a good dentist? The absolute truth is that you can only ever know for sure after receiving treatment — but there are ways to load the dice in your favor. Here are some insider tips that you should keep in mind.

Looks Matter!

Of course when I say this, I mean the appearance and upkeep of the clinic rather than the fashion sense of the dentist. A good dentist is one who realizes that a clean, well-ventilated clinic is essential to providing good treatment. A well-organized working area free of clutter with trained auxiliary staff is a good sign. It also means that standard practices like strict sterilization protocols are more likely to be followed. The waiting area should be designed to help the patients feel comfortable as they wait for their turn. Research has shown that this is one of the most nerve wracking moments for anxious patients.

Talk To Your Dentist

Judging a dentist, or anyone for that matter, is only possible if you interact with that person. While it is not possible to physically meet every dentist in your area before getting treatment, you can shortlist a few. Arrive at this list through personal recommendations of people you trust and know have had good experiences getting treatment, along with reviews people have posted online. Online reviews can be a little dodgy sometimes as websites have been known to promote people who pay for their services, as well as fake reviews are all too common nowadays.

A good dentist will take the time to hear you out and then offer the possible treatment plans. The pros and cons of each option should be told to you at the outset and an idea of the final outcome of the treatment should be provided. These treatment plans should take in account various options like time, money, invasiveness and long-term success.

These qualities show that the dentist is able to communicate with you in a satisfactory manner as well as clarity of thought. Both the qualities are absolutely essential to achieving patient satisfaction and building a long term healthy doctor-patient relationship.

Training And Support

Patients are often amazed to find out that Dentistry offers ten different fields of specialization to Doctors. There is a lot of overlap between various fields of specialization operatively and this has only added to the confusion of the patient. Legally too, general dentists and specialized dentists are allowed to practice almost all of the procedures that they feel competent performing.

This sometimes leads to dentists performing certain procedures that they may be able to perform adequately at best instead of referring the patients to the relevant specialist. The reasons for this can be commercial for the fear of losing the patient or just an over estimation of their own skill.

See Also: Oral Hygiene: Dental Care Mistakes You Could Be Making

Try and choose a dentist who is a specialist in one field and has a panel of experts from the other ones. A comprehensive treatment plan involves close co-ordination between dentists of different specialties and so having in house access makes things easier for both you and your dentist.

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