What Makes a Good Dental Practice
It’s important for the health of you and your family to find excellent dental care in your area.Having healthy teeth and gums is vital to overall wellness, and a less-than-excellent dentist will be a setback, and put you off repeat visits. So, what should you be looking for? A dental practice should be welcoming and calming, kitted out with the best equipment available, and staffed by great dentists and dental assistants. Let’s have a look at what makes a good dental practice.
Highly skilled dentists
It should be a given that all dental practices are run by fantastic dentists – after all, they’ve all had the same training. But some dentists work to a higher degree of excellence than others, taking a more proactive approach keeping their skill set updated or their knowledge of new equipment fresh. Some dentists make their patients feel more comfortable, or minimise pain better than others.You can usually find reviews of dentists on local websites.
Over its history, dentistry has seen huge advances in available technology which are designed to make procedures more effective and comfortable for patients, as well as enabling dentists to perform more complex operations. Routine procedures such as X-rays are quicker, more detailed, and involve less exposure to radiation than before.The safe and thorough service provided by this technology adds to the care offered by the dental practice, and makes for a better patient experience – most practices will be happy to give you information about their equipment when you schedule your first appointment.
Equipment and maintenance
Another related area to take note of is the more traditional equipment a dentist uses everyday.Tools such as endodontic handpieces, implant handpieces, and drills are areas where good dentists won’t try to scrimp and save – the build quality and hardiness means work can be done more effectively, and won’t cause as much discomfort. Again, you can ask for information as to the quality of the tools, as well as their maintenance when you visit – you may not know the brands, so a little prior research may be helpful.
Many people dread going to the dentist. Even a routine check up or cleaning can fill a patient with extreme anxiety, so it’s the job of all the staff at the practice to minimise stress and promote a calm, welcoming environment. When you check out a practice you should get an idea of the way the team works, and what you can expect, and again, you should be able to find some information on local websites. A great dentist will have a hygienist, assistant, and reception admin staff who all possess excellent people skills.
Patients should be part of the discussion about their treatment. All too often a patient is put in the chair without any dialog ue about what to expect during the treatment, reasons for the treatment, or alternative options should they be in disagreement. With children, communication is a vital part of building trust with the dentist, and reducing anxiety about visiting in future – many people’s extreme aversion to dentistry is forged in childhood, and even the simplest procedures may stimulate fear or bring back trauma. Outside of the theatre itself communication with other staff is important – a friendly, helpful, and at times comforting reception staff will put patients at ease, as well as encouraging follow up appointments.
Dentists have recognised the impact ambiance, decor, and layout can have on the patient experience, and are paying more attention to this as they set up or refit their practices. Lighting is one area – alcove lighting and warmer colour temperatures in the waiting room promote calmness, rather than harsh white strip lighting. Sound can be controlled via insulation and varying ceiling heights – the last thing you want to hear in the waiting room is the sound of someone else’s teeth being operated on. The ideal waiting room won’t have a door – nervous people tend to feel more claustrophobic. All these are aspects you can take into account when you visit for a consultation.
You and your family should feel safe, secure, and confident every time you have an appointment at your dentist. Look out for some of these things when you check out local practices.
Dental practices that have all of these things will help appease dental anxiety and make your experience comfortable. For more information on dental anxiety, especially for young children, please see the resource below.
Provided by Cosmedent – dental continuing education