It’s a simple task to find a dentist. All you need to do is google ‘dentists near me’ and numerous options will appear for most metropolitan locations. But, to find the right dentist for you in particular, a little more comes into it than a web search, it’s choosing a partner for your dental health.
The following things need to be considered when choosing a dentist.
A good starting point
A great dental clinic should make you feel relaxed and comfortable. It should be clean and well organised. You should find a dentist that you trust and like and that will help you in looking after your teeth and gums on a regular basis for many years. Staff should be proactive about setting up your next appointment, so you are prepared well in advance.
Are they qualified?
A prime consideration is whether or not the dentist you are considering is qualified. To work as a dentist in Australia, a person needs to complete a Bachelor of Dental Surgery or Bachelor of Dental Science, and register with the Dental Board of Australia. Continuing Professional development (CPD) is required, as is continued renewal of registration.
You should never consider going to any dentist who is unregistered and does not have these qualifications as a minimum, no matter how cheap the service they offer.
You can check a dentist is registered by referring to the publicly available Register of practitioners on the The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and the National Boards website.
Is their location convenient?
Going to the dentist is something most people don’t relish, so you don’t want to put any extra obstacles in your path to get there. Choosing a dentist in a convenient and accessible location really helps. If it’s not near your home, consider finding one close to your work, or at least on your journey home, so it’s not too much of a hassle to get to your appointments.
Ask your family and friends
Ask your family and friends if there’s a dentist they recommend. Checking reviews on search engines is helpful, but it’s not the same as a recommendation from a family member, friend or connection, who can give you the real lowdown on their experience with their dentist. Often, if your family and friends are happy with their dentist then you will be too. If you’re moving ask your current dentist for a recommendation.
Probably the best way to choose a dentist, is to try them out to see if you like them. Things you may consider after your first visit are:
- Was the dentist and support staff friendly, knowledgeable and approachable?
- Were they able to provide you with information regarding their fees and dental services?
- Did your dentist explain the dental treatment and what they were doing in a way that was easily understandable?
- Did the dentist listen to you? Were your concerns met and addressed?
- Did you feel valued as a patient?
- Level of comfort
- Was the dental practice clean, inviting and well organised?
If you liked the experience, it’s a great idea to stick with the one dentist into the future. This means you build up trust with your dentist, your records are stored in one place, and the dentist knows exactly what’s going on with your teeth. You won’t have to repeatedly explain issues to them, and if your particular dentist is on leave, you’ll be offered the option of another qualified dentist in the same clinic.
We believe that seeing the same dentist over a long period of time provides you with a consistently high level of care (often referred to as “continuity of care”) which can be unmatched.
Do they offer the service you need?
There are different types of dentists offering different services from preventative dental treatment, restorative dental treatment, cosmetic dentistry, hygiene department, children’s dentistry, dental surgery and orthodontics. You may also be interested in hicaps for instant health insurance claims, government schemes such as the child dental benefits schedule or payment plan options.
If you are in the Mornington Peninsula and are seeking a dentist, how about you try Beachside Complete Dental Care? Our dental clinic in Frankston has a team of highly qualified and friendly dentists, dental assistants, oral health therapists, and dental radiographers. We offer all of your standard dental treatments, plus cosmetic dentistry, dental surgery, dental implants and orthodontics.