There are an estimated 113,000 dentists across the country. If you’re in the process of looking for a new dentist, you may wonder just how you can pick the best one among all your options.
While things like price and location are important, you may also want to factor in personality traits as well. After all, you probably don’t want to have someone you don’t like or trust scraping and drilling around in your mouth.
Luckily, there are plenty of telltale signs that will help you separate a good dentist from the not-so-stellar ones.
Do you want to know more? Keep reading to learn the top 8 qualities all good dentists have.
All dentists need to pass a licensing exam before they can legally start practicing. And before they get to their exam, they need a whopping 8 years of higher education!
So, before you choose your new dentist, consider conducting a dental license lookup to ensure they are properly licensed.
You may think that 8 years of schooling and a license is enough. However, the dental field is always changing.
A great dentist never stops learning. They’ll be up-to-date on the newest research and pieces of technology.
It’s not always enough to have up-to-date knowledge. You’ll also want a dentist who has an office filled with modern technology.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that they have to order brand new pieces of tech every year. But it does mean that the machines and technology they do have should be in good working order and reasonably modern.
This extends to the reception area as well. While having a nice computer and phone system in place may not seem important, you don’t want to deal with getting a busy tone every time you call because the receptionist is already on the phone. Some, like this dentist, even allow you to book your appointment online!
When you first walk into your dentist’s office, you want to feel at ease. A good dentist understands this and has taken the time to create a welcoming environment.
Ideally, the waiting room will be brightly lit with comfortable waiting chairs. TVs and magazine racks are also good touches to help you occupy your time.
All staff members, including the receptionist, dental hygienist, and dentist, should be personable. After all, nothing can ruin your mood faster than a rude staff member.
4. Excellent Communication
With 8 years of schooling, your dentist knows a lot of industry-specific jargon and understands all the complexities of dental hygiene. However, without having gone to dental school yourself, these terms can easily get confusing.
That’s why a good dentist should have excellent communication skills. They should be able to explain your diagnosis, treatment, and any procedures you may need in a way that is easy for you to understand.
5. Good with Kids
Let’s face it, between raising kids, keeping up with the house, and working, you’re exhausted by the end of the day. When it comes time for the family to get teeth cleanings, choosing a pediatric dentist for your kids means that you need to make your own appointment at a different dentist.
Instead of scheduling two different appointments at two different dentists, many families choose to have their kids see a regular dentist. This means that you’ll need to find one that’s good with kids.
Kids are often nervous or afraid of what will happen, so your dentist should be patient and compassionate. If needed, they should also be able to explain to your kids what is going to happen in a child-friendly and non-scary way.
6. Keeps Patient Comfort in Mind
Have you ever gone to a dentist or a dental hygienist that went a little too rough with the scraper? Teeth cleanings aren’t typically fun to begin with, but going to a rough-handed dentist can make the experience even worse.
A good dentist should strive to successfully complete their treatment while maintaining patient comfort. When it comes to more intense procedures, like a root canal, they should tell you how they plan to manage your pain. If you’re nervous about the pain management technique they’ve chosen, they should also be able to discuss different options with you.
7. Keeps Patients Informed
When a doctor diagnosis a patient, the next thing they do is discuss different treatment plans with them. They’ll go over the benefits and possible drawbacks of each, and can even discuss how they made their diagnosis. Your dentist should do the same.
They should keep you informed with every possible treatment plan available to you. Of course, sometimes there is only one possible plan. If this is the case, they should still talk to you about the procedure and possible side effects.
It’s no secret that dental procedures can get pricey, and not everyone has dental insurance. For this reason, you should look for a dentist that’s flexible with payments.
If you’re unable to pay your bill in full at the time of the appointment, a good dentist will have a payment plan option available.
You may also want to look for a dentist with flexible scheduling. While weekend and evening hours aren’t common, some dentists do offer these so you don’t have to call off work for your appointments.
Finding a Good Dentist
Don’t push off your teeth cleaning any longer! Just follow the guide above to find a dentist in your area. From being well-educated to offering flexible payment plans, there are many qualities to keep an eye out for.
Do you want more tips to help you live your healthiest life? Then check out the rest of our blog today!