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10 TOP TIPS FOR finding a great dentist

When selecting a dentist to entrust with your long term oral health, remember these practical and important checks:

  • Time in Chair & Getting to Know You
    Time allows you to ask questions, provide your full medical history and ensure that all your needs are dealt with appropriately. A new patient exam generally includes a thorough examination of your teeth and gums, and usually requires x-rays to detect any underlying problems. The examination can take between 40 and 60 minutes.
  • A Busy Practice, Running On Time
    If a practice is busy, it is likely they are doing great work and focusing on patient service. They should cater for emergencies and provide convenient opening hours.
  • Infection Control
    The dental surgery area and tools should appear spotless in order to eliminate cross contamination. Masks and gloves are a must and items should be placed within sterile areas, wrapped in plastic or in bags. You should feel comfortable and safe.
  • An In Depth Exam with Gum & Bone Charting
    "Perio Charting" should be carried out to ensure that the foundations of your teeth are healthy. This process measures the depth of gum pockets, dentists can then focus on areas of concern. If you have healthy gums, there is less chance of developing associated diseases.
  • Magnification, Cameras and Digital X-ray Sensors
    Cracks and holes can be very small. Examining through magnifying lenses and using digital intra-oral cameras allows a dentist to get a far more accurate diagnosis. Digital cameras also allow an opportunity for you to see the cracks for yourself. Digital x-ray uses 90% less radiation.
  • A Range of Options and a Written Treatment Plan
    A dentist should present you with considered treatment options and explain them so that you understand the long term consequences. Before any treatment you should have a clear indication of costs, know all the issues and feel supported in your treatment decisions.
  • Lab Work and Quality Materials
    Ensure that your "lab work" like crowns, veneers, and dentures are created by experienced Lab Technicians using long lasting, quality materials. These are the finished products that you and others will see, so make sure they're top quality.
  • Continuing Training in Specific Areas
    If you are having complex work such as dental implants, extensive cosmetic or advanced root canal treatment ensure that the dentist has had an appropriate level of recent training in the area. This allows them to learn with experts and work on models before treating patients.
  • External Specialists & Partners
    When appropriate, a general dentist may suggest visiting a specialist for complex treatment such as complex implants, tricky root canals or advanced bone disease. This is a sign that they care more about your long term health outcomes and less about keeping it "in-house".