Today I’m going to discuss How to Find The Best Dentist in your area or at least how to know if your dentist is up-to-date and likely to be doing the latest and greatest in dentistry.
When choosing a dentist, Doctor or any practitioner for yourself or your family you can be challenged with a difficult task because you don’t always know what to look for. Many times we choose a dentist based upon our feelings of how friendly he/she is but that can be a mistake because friendliness has nothing to do with talent, experience, diagnostic expertise or ability to do great work. After all, if you just want someone friendly you can go to a park and find someone to talk to. But when looking for a dentist you want to make sure that what he’s going to do for you or your family is not only necessary or desired but also excellent good-looking and long-lasting work. And yes the dentist and his staff should be friendly.
Fortunately there are some signs that you can look for that will let you know whether the dental practice you are attending or considering is using some of the latest technology and likely to do excellent, good looking and long-lasting dentistry while providing for your needs and desires. As a disclaimer however, I must tell you that just because the dental practice may have all of the signs and details included in the following paragraphs, that is no guarantee that you are going to get excellent, good looking and long-lasting dentistry while providing for your needs and desires and making you feel more comfortable. It just makes it more likely.
Before I continue however, I must mention that the absolute worst way to find yourself a great dentist is by price shopping. It makes no more sense to price shop for dentist than it does to price shop for the cheapest heart replacement surgery or the cheapest brain surgeon. I am also not saying that the most expensive is necessarily the best either. But what I am trying to say is that price or cost should not be the main factor involved in choosing the dental practice for you or your family. After all, you don’t go to a Prius dealer looking for a new Ferrari.
Whether you are contacting the dental practice based upon having found their number online, in the phone book, in some other form of advertising or by word-of-mouth referral there are a few things you should notice beginning with the first contact.
The office should have an obviously friendly and helpful staff starting with the first contact by telephone and continuing through all aspects of the dental experience. And if when you first call you don’t get a live person, you should be looking for an informative answering system possibly even interactive so you can press certain buttons to get certain information. As a new patient they should do everything they can to get you in as soon as possible rather than you having to wait weeks for your first appointment.
When you first arrive at the office one of the things you should notice is that the office furnishings do not have to look like the most expensive furniture available but also should not look like they came from the Goodwill store. Also the office should be bright and clean looking. The staff should do everything possible to make you feel comfortable while you’re at the office. They should offer a number of different payment options but a big negative is if they seem to participate with every imaginable insurance plan. Yes, I know it’s financially convenient if they happen to participate with your particular insurance plan but it is also true that the dental practices that participate with all imaginable insurance plans wind up getting paid much less than the actual value that great dentistry is worth. What that means generally is that the doctor has to work much harder and faster to make ends meet and pay his bills so it is likely that the materials used may not be the best and very possible That You and your family will not get all the devotion of time necessary to do great dentistry and provide for your needs and desires.
The large group practices with many young dentists, especially the franchises should be avoided. The primary reason for that is the typical corporate mentality where the corporation pays each dentist a small percentage of what he produces thereby causing those dentists to have to work very fast and in some cases do crappy work just in order to make a living. They don’t have the time or take the time to spend with you and your family that would be required and necessary for individual and personal service. But actually most patients get the feeling of being subjected to assembly line or factory treatment. And the fees there are not much lower than you would find at the better dental practices.
The dentist should not still be doing silver amalgam fillings but should only be doing cosmetic tooth colored fillings that actually match the color of your teeth when done, even in back teeth. He/she should provide a multitude of services including, but not limited to, fillings, porcelain crowns (with no metal showing in the final product), bridgework, partials, full dentures, root canals, extractions, some sort of effective tooth whitening procedure such as the amazing Deep Bleaching technique, nonsurgical gum treatments, some way to effect at least limited movement of teeth using braces, Invisalign or appliance therapy.
The dental operatories should be clean bright and contain dental equipment that looks fairly up-to-date. The office should have at least one dental hygienist who does all the dental cleanings. If the dentist is doing the cleanings you’re not really getting your teeth cleaned. A dental office that is using digital x-rays instead of the old film x-rays shows that they are more up-to-date and interested in using technology to effect the best diagnosis and treatment.
The dentist should wear loupes which are magnifiers or microscopes attached to the front of his glasses during examination and treatment which gives you the comfort of knowing that he can actually see what he’s doing. The use of a bright headlight attached to the loupes is also very helpful to the dentist.
The dentist should also know how to provide painless dentistry and go out of his way to make sure that that takes place. Getting Novocain should not be a painful or terrible experience. There are ways to give absolutely painless Novocain using technology that has been available for almost 20 years now such as the Wand which is a computer that makes the application of giving Novocain completely painless in almost all cases.
Having a somewhat professional looking and informative webpage containing most of the information you may want to find out about the dental practice in a user-friendly manner including office hours, directions to the office, a list and description of services offered and possibly even a page showing before and after pictures of their work is also a good sign, but again no guarantee, of an up-to-date caring dental practice.
I hope this information has been helpful to you to enable you to find a great dental practice that, cares about you and your family, will spend the necessary time with you and your family and provide you with the greatest quality dentistry in a comfortable, painless setting.
If you happen to live in the Altoona Pennsylvania area and are looking for a great dental practice for you and your family Dr. Locker and his friendly, knowledgeable staff invite you to call Gentle Family Dentistry in Duncansville, PA for the greatest, most advanced, painless dental experience you have ever had.
Legal CMA Disclaimer:
Although this article may contain factual information, the information contained in this article has probably not been evaluated by the FDA nor is it in any way intended to be medical advice.
Unfortunately I must recommend that for any change in medical or health behavior or for any change in the way you use prescribed drugs by your healthcare providers or before acting upon any of the advice given in this or any other article, that you consult with your licensed healthcare provider or physician.