Choosing a new dental practice isn’t always as straightforward as you might think. There are a number of different factors and criteria to take into consideration; these include:
Practice location and opening hours
Practice accreditations and standards
Dental practice location and opening hours
It might sound obvious, but choosing a dental practice isn’t always as simple as choosing the closest one to where you live. If you work in another area to that in which you live, and could potentially need dental treatment regularly in a place that is closer to your work than your home, choosing one that is part-way between the two locations could be a good compromise. Make sure you get information on the opening hours of the practice. If you’re not able to make dental appointments during office hours then you’ll probably be more suited to a practice which has late opening days or offers a weekend service.
Dental practice accreditations and standards
All dental professionals in the UK need to be registered with the General Dental Council in order to operate legally. This includes dentists, dental nurses, hygienists, technicians and dental therapists. Also, make sure all dental practices must registered with the Care Quality Commission and if you look on the internet, the most recent inspection reports are published by the CQC – worth taking a look online. Most practices will have their professional certificates for these registrations on display in the reception area. Dentists themselves may also display their own qualifications and proof of continuing professional development, either in the practice reception area or their own treatment rooms.
If you are looking for NHS dentist services, make sure that any potential practice is taking on new NHS patients. If you are struggling to find an NHS dentist, the NHS England website could be able to help you find one nearby.
Whether you are planning to be treated under the NHS or privately, you will need to make sure that the dental practice you choose actually offers the services you require. If you’re looking for cosmetic dentistry, for example, then make sure that the procedures you’re interested in are carried out regularly by dentists within the practice. Not all dental practices offer the same services or use the same equipment or technology, so it’s always worth checking before you register.
Getting personal recommendations from friends, family or colleagues can be a good place to start when looking for a dental practice. They will have experienced treatment from this practice first hand and can give you an honest opinion on whether they would recommend it.
If you are unhappy with the treatment or service that has been delivered by your current dentist and feel that your dentist has been negligent, you might be able to make a claim for compensation. Contact the Dental Law Partnership to find out more.