Whether it be due to past experiences, horror stories from friends, or just dental anxiety in general, having a case of bad dentistry is what makes people shy away from getting their teeth checked. But don’t let that put you off because there are plenty of experienced dentists out there who are caring, well-trained, and professional with their approach. When choosing the right dentist, it can be difficult to discern which dental practices are great and which ones are just downright atrocious.
Thankfully, we’re here to help. As one of the leading dental clinics in Warrnambool, we understand the quality of work that goes into excellent dentistry. Here’s how you can spot the difference between good dentistry and bad dentistry so you can choose the right dentist to meet your oral care needs.
Like they always say, first impressions last and this applies to your dentist of choice. How they treat you during the initial stages of checkup can say a lot about how they take their profession seriously. Pay close attention to these three categories:
- Setting an appointment – This is where it all starts. When you call their office, is the receptionist kind and accommodating? Are they open to answering any of your questions and concerns? A well-trained staff speaks volumes about the dentist and his/her practice so bear that in mind when making an appointment.
- Walking into the office – How do you feel when you walk inside the dentist’s office? Do you feel welcomed and invited? Or do you feel a hint of anxiety as you sit down? If you’re in there and the staff isn’t attentive to you, then you’re most likely in the wrong clinic. Have a look around and see if the office is well-maintained. A sanitary clinic is a highlight of great dental care and reflects on how the dentist treats his patients.
- Certification – Is your dentist qualified to perform dental care? Do they have appropriate certificates and licensure that signifies their skill and experience? This is something you should consider when choosing a dentist since working with an unlicensed dentist can put your oral health at risk.
Getting to know your dentist
A good dentist is always open to your questions and will address them in the most professional way possible. Since they’ll be working with you on improving your oral health, you want to create and maintain a healthy customer relationship with your dentist. The last thing you want is to work with a dentist you absolutely hate as you’ll end up skipping appointments and ultimately compromise your oral health. A mark of good dentistry is about satisfying the needs and expectations of patients and this can be achieved by:
1. Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)
Whenever a dentist is working on your mouth, they should be wearing a fresh set of gloves and a new surgical mask for sanitary purposes. They should also be wearing the appropriate work clothes such as lab gowns, scrubs, and a surgical cap if need be. Dentists are required to wear personal protective equipment to keep them and their patients safe. If your dentist lacks any of these, it’s a major red flag.
2. Practising good hygiene
Good hygiene is a sign of good dentistry. This means the dentist should be cleaning and sanitizing his/her tools and equipment before addressing their patients. If you notice that your dentist keeps rummaging through their drawers and their tools are just scattered all over the place, you may want to reconsider setting a new appointment with them.
3. Providing patients with options
While some extreme procedures are necessary to preserve your teeth, the dentist should always present you with alternative options and not jump to conclusions without proper explanation. They may also give you a recommendation of the best procedures for your needs, but at no point should you feel pressured to make an immediate choice. A good dentist informs his/her patients about their oral health condition and explains which treatments are the most ideal.
4. Post-checkup response
How well did the dentist address your concerns? Was the treatment relatively pain-free? Or were you at a discomfort throughout the entire procedure? Great dentists know how to make adjustments while bad ones just go through the motions without considering their patient’s condition. Quality dental work is about caring for the patient before and after the procedure.
5. Quality of work
This is where it all comes down to. We all know that dental care isn’t cheap and you don’t want to invest in dental work that won’t hold up for the long term. A great dentist prides itself on their quality of work and you can expect your treatment to last for years. A bad dentist, on the other hand, may compromise your fillings so you can keep coming back for more treatments.
There’s a world of difference between good dental practice and bad dental practice. From the staffing and the office environment to the dentist’s skills and expertise, you should avoid settling for bad dentistry just to save a few dollars. Remember, it’s the quality of work that matters when receiving oral care and a reputable dentist will be able to address your needs with little to no issues. The next time you find yourself looking for a dentist, make sure to keep these tips in mind so you can entrust your oral health to a qualified professional.