By: Dr. David Rice
Want to guarantee you’re seeing the right dentist? Here is how we dentists choose our dentist, and I’m thinking we have the inside scoop that will help you!
7 Ways Dentists Choose The Right Dentists
Check out these seven reasons how we dentists choose our dentists:
1. Get in the know
No matter what city you live in, know this; the dental community is a small one.
WE, dentists, know who the best dentists are and we know who the worst dentists are. Translation, key number one is to do what we do, ask who the best dentists are. I’ll fast-track this for you, ask a half-dozen dentists who they and their families see. You’ll very likely hear the same short list of names over and over. That’ll narrow your list immediately.
💡 Pro-Tip: Dental specialists tend to know the best of the best as they see many dentists work. When in doubt, ask six dental specialists who they and their family sees.
2. Passion for excellence
Once your list is narrowed, the first quality I love is a passion for excellence.
People who have a passion for what they do tend to be very good at what they do. You want a dentist who is driven to be their very best every single day. You don’t want to be the patient who lands in someone’s chair whose bad day becomes your bad day.
💡 Pro-Tip: Dentists who have great passion will be excited with almost everything they do. You’ll feel it with everyone in the practice. Passion is contagious.
This isn’t going to be easy for you to hear, it’s not easy for me to say. It is, however, the truth and that is something you deserve. Like other humans in other professions, not all dentists have a strong character. As a patient, I want someone who always puts me first, even when it costs them time and/or money to do it.
💡Pro-Tip: Dentists with character will happily invest time in you; they’ll happily see you seek a second opinion. They’re confident in what they are recommending. They know you’ll come back when you feel trusted.
4. Continuing education
All dentists need to take continuing education to maintain licensure. Dentists who seek minimal amounts of education are less knowledgeable and less skilled than dentists who can’t get enough education.
💡 Pro-Tip: Not all education is created equal. There are major centers for excellence in dentistry. Ask your dentist where they get their education in addition to how much they get per year.
There’s an old adage. There’s never enough time to do it right; there’s plenty of time to do it again. The best dentists never allow time to interfere with your care.
My dentist takes her time with me. She plans. She prepares. She knows that even with the best technologies, excellence takes time. Seek who we dentists seek, someone who takes their time!
💡 Pro-Tip: In general, a great dental wellness visit (exam and cleaning) takes a full hour. If your dentist/hygienist is investing a full hour with you for this, it’s very likely they’re investing the right amount of time for fillings, crowns, etc.
In today’s world, getting the best care without the best dental technologies is extremely difficult. I literally just finished up a dental appointment for a crown this morning. What I’m grateful for, are the scanner she used instead of the goopy impression; the digital x-rays she used that give her the best views and me the least radiation; the software that reminded me when I needed to be there and what to expect; the laser she had instead of the old-school ways.
💡 Pro-Tip: Ask what technology your prospective dentist has. It’s a great idea in today’s world to see someone who at least owns a scanner to replace impression materials; digital x-rays and a soft-tissue laser.
💡💡 Pro-Pro-Tip: Other nice-to-have technologies are 3D X-ray systems (they may call it CBCT or Conebeam) and 3D printers.
7. Open communication
One of my favorite qualities of a great dentist and a biggie in my personal choice is honest, open communication. My dentist and her team are always asking me questions to make sure I totally understand, and, I’m a dentist!
My dentist is constantly checking in with me during procedures to ensure I’m comfortable. That helps me know she knows what she’s doing (dentist to dentist); it helps me feel connected.
💡 Pro-Tip: Confident and caring dentists and teams involve you in your treatment. YES, there is the best care. YES, it matters that your care works for you.
Want more help in finding the best dentist where you live?
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Photo by Nadezhda Moryak