Choosing a local dental professional is an important task and one that should not be taken lightly. Teeth have a direct impact on general health as well as social acceptance and therefore, for most people, selecting a local dentist is of paramount importance. Finding someone that you are comfortable with can be a challenging experience but there are some general tips that you can employ to be successful.
2. Meet Personally with the Dentist
Rather than discuss your personal needs over the phone, visit the dentist in person. A visit can give you a good feel for the professionalism of the staff as well as an in-depth view of the services and facilities that they can provide. It can also provide you with the opportunity to meet the dentist who will likely be working on your teeth.
The personal aspect of the professional relationship is often overlooked but has a direct connection with your comfort level during consultations. Most of us are generally apprehensive upon visiting a dentist and a warm bedside manner does wonders to put you at ease. That is why it is often imperative to meet the dentist, if possible, to ensure that you are comfortable in their presence. This is a significant step in quelling any possible disquiet you might have prior to the first consultation.
As with any medical profession, quality training is paramount and by asking to review their qualifications and licenses you can ensure that they are appropriately trained to operate within your area. In particular, continuing education is a requirement of the American Dental Association and is important to ensure that the dentist maintains a high level of skill. In most cases, dental professionals should be more than happy to discuss their qualifications with you and if they decline this could be considered a red flag.
As a member of the public, you can contact both your states licensing board and the American Dental Association to confirm that your dentist is appropriately registered and licensed to practice in your state. It is also prudent to ask if there is any record of current or historical complaints or penalties levied against them.
Overall, finding the right local dentist is a process of trial and error and something that should not be taken lightly. Generally, most of us place great trust in our dental professionals and therefore it is paramount that they are not only appropriately qualified but that you also feel personally comfortable in their presence.