Most people spend as little time as possible planning their next trip to the dentist. But it pays to invest time in finding the practice most suitable for you.
Here are some of our top tips for choosing the right dentist:
Before you start:
- Decide whether you want a dentist near work or home
- Ask your friends and family for a recommendation
- Enquire online for dentists – you can use the BDA ‘find a dentist’ website to search for a dentist in your local area.
- Consider your first visit as an experiment
- Is the receptionist confident and helpful?
- Do you feel your concerns are addressed, especially if you are an anxious patient?
- Is the practice accommodating – does it offer extended hours and weekend appointments?
- Were you able to speak to the dentist directly or offered a call back?
- Is there a personal contact for emergencies – and not simply an answer machine?
Your first visit
- Do you receive a warm welcome?
- Is it a clean and comfortable environment?
- Is patient confidentiality considered?
- Are they interested in you or only your teeth?
- Are you seen promptly after arriving, and do they communicate if they are running late?
- Do they offer specialist services, such as prosthodontics, endodontics or periodontics?
- Is your dentist empathetic – do they listen to you?
- Are you given enough time to explain your problem and give a full dental history?
- Are the supporting team members caring and helpful?
- Does your dentist consider your medical history?
- Is it ok for you to bring a friend if you are nervous?
- Are treatment options given in writing and discussed, and are you given an opportunity to reflect on these and ask questions?