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How To Choose The Right Dentist

Updated on June 1, 2010

As you should be visiting your dentist every six months for regular check-ups, choosing a dentist can one of the most important health-related decisions that you make. The right dentist can ease your fears about having check-ups and dental treatment, while the wrong dentist can make dental appointments a nightmare to attend. How do you make sure that you are choosing the right dentist for you and your family?

Rapport

Ideally, your dentist should make you feel comfortable about visiting the dental surgery. Many people are apprehensive or even terrified of dental appointments, but the right dentist will be able to put you at ease and diminish this fear. In the majority of cases, this is done through good rapport. During your initial consultation with a new dentist, make a mental note of whether he or she takes the time to make you feel comfortable - especially when you are in the chair. If he or she does not make you feel comfortable during your initial meeting, you are probably best to consider a different dentist instead. 

Professionalism

On your initial consultation with a new dentist, check to see how professional he or she appears. For example, does he or she request a full medical history from you so that they can build up an accurate picture of any allergies, medication and reaction to various drugs could affect future dental treatments? If a dental plan is discussed, do you feel as though you have a say in it? Do you leave the dental surgery feeling well informed, or are you still clueless or confused about some things? If you do not feel fully confident about the professionalism of a particular dentist, it can be a warning sign that dental work carried out at the dental surgery may not up to scratch. 

Fees

This is often the first thing that people consider, especially as rising dental costs are forcing people to opt out of receiving dental treatments during the recession. This can be a dangerous move though, as prioritizing the cost of dental work when searching for a dentist is a common way to end up with a dentist who does not necessarily make you feel comfortable during dental appointments. If you have dental insurance, your monthly premiums will cover you up to a certain point (often around $1,000 per year) and any further treatments will need to come out of your own pocket. Although this could potentially be rather pricey, choosing a dentist that you have a good rapport with is much more important than selecting a dentist who charges the lowest fees in your area. Although it does not always follow suit, low fees are often an indication of poor quality dental treatments and this can be disastrous as far as your dental health is concerned. 

Choosing a dentist should be a decision that is based on more than just the costs involved in dental treatment. The dentist who offers you the cheapest treatments could easily perform inadequate dental work that requires further treatment to correct it. In the worst cases, shoddy dental work could even create lasting damage to your teeth. Because of this possibility, it is worth paying a little extra for a quality dentist, especially if he or she makes you feel comfortable when attending dental appointments. Always check a dentist's professional qualifications before committing yourself. 

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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      This is one of my worst subjects I did read and you made some really good points there about being made confortable and also the cost. Thank you for a great hub.

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