If you’ve been looking for a private dentist, it can be difficult to know where to start. If you’ve recently relocated, you may not know anybody else in the area and simply using a search engine may not feel like the best way to find an experienced professional whose care you will rely on for years to come. There can be no doubt about it, dentists are like doctors when it comes to the relationship you build up between you. So, if you don’t want to ask the internet for the best place to go in town, what should you do?
While the internet listing of names in the local area may not be the level of detail you need to get you to meet a new dental practice, don’t rule out the internet completely. Many dental practices have excellent websites that give information about their ethos, as well as the treatments they provide. Many will also give information about the costs of treatments and any practice plans they provide for covering the cost of treatments. You may also find reviews from past patients and check out social media to see if these reviews match up with any comments on other forums.
If you’re relocating, you could ask your current dentist to recommend another dentist in the area you’re moving to. Many dentists have connections across the country from previous employment, training and networking, so it is always worth asking. Alternatively, you may have friends, family or colleagues in the area you are moving to, so try asking for recommendations, as the majority of people will be aware of dental practices in the area and may be keen to recommend theirs! The BDA website will also have information about member dentists in the local area.
Consider what you want from a dentist. You may have different priorities to somebody else. For example, opening hours may be of importance if you need a late night or weekend appointment. You may need to consider the location of the practice, particularly if you rely on public transport – is the practice near a convenient bus or train stop? You may be concerned about the level of training and CPD that the practice has, so checking out the level of experience might be on your to-do list. You may also wish to find out what their cancellation policy is.
If you decide to visit a dental practice, don’t be afraid to view it ahead of booking an appointment. You may wish to go and check if the practice appears presentable, as well as clean and whether or not the staff are friendly and approachable. Don’t be afraid to ask if anybody is trained to help with nervous patients and dental phobia if this applies to you or your family, and while you’re asking questions, gauge how helpful the staff are and how willing they are to spend time putting your mind at ease.
Once you meet your dentist, you should have an initial consultation to discuss any concerns you have about your teeth and again, check how willing your dentist is to spend time with you. Remember that if you’re not sure after this initial consultation, there is nothing to stop you checking out another practice instead.
Taking time to find the right dentist for you should be time well spent; remember that you and your dentist could spend a lot of time together over the years to come, so you might as well make sure that you’ve chosen the dentist you really want and need.