How to find a good dentist
Finding a good dentist, which is the right choice for you, isn’t always a straightforward process. It’s important that you feel comfortable with the individual or team that you choose for your dental care, as you’re trusting them to look after your oral health and to provide a good standard of care at all times. Whether you’re looking for a dentist for NHS treatment or are seeking a private dentist for general or specialist procedures, finding a great dentist can make all the difference to your experience when receiving dental care. We’ve compiled some of the things that you can look out for when you’re choosing a dentist to help you find the right match for you.
Do they have experience with dental anxiety?
For many millions of people in the UK, dental anxiety, at some level, is a very real issue. You may feel some low level worry or concern about upcoming dental appointments or treatment, or you might have extreme anxiety about visiting the dentist which can really get in the way of routine check ups and any further treatment required. It is always worth asking at the practice how they help to make things a little easier for nervous patients. They may offer to show you around the practice, show you any measures they have put in place to help with anxiety and even offer tips that you can try before you visit for an appointment.
See if you have a case for dental negligence:
Do they have the right registrations and accreditations, qualifications and training certificates?
In the UK, all dentists, dental nurses, dental hygienists, dental therapists and dental technicians, whether NHS or private, need to be registered with the General Dental Council (CDC) before they can legally operate. The GDC is the main regulatory body for all dental professionals in the UK and you can check on their website to make sure that your potential new dentist is registered with them.
Good dentists will also be registered with the Care Quality Commission and most practices and dentists will display certificates that show their qualifications and any additional training they have undergone either in reception areas or their treatment rooms.
Convenient location and opening hours
Finding a good dentist for your requirements means that the location of the practice and their opening hours are a really important consideration. Ensuring that you can make appointments when convenient for you and your other life commitments, such as work and family, can make a big difference to your experience of visiting the dentist, especially if you are undergoing treatment or procedures that require repeat visits regularly. Many dentists now offer late opening times and weekend appointments.
The range of treatments offered
A dentist who offers good general dental care is great for routine oral health and essential treatments. Many dentists also offer specialist treatments in certain areas, such as cosmetic dentistry. If you’re looking for a dentist that offers a wide range of treatments and procedures, it’s a good idea to check on what the practice offers before you register with them to make sure that they can meet your requirements.
A friendly and helpful atmosphere
Dental practices can be busy places, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feel welcome and valued as a client from the moment that you enter the premises and throughout your treatment. Your dentist and all the staff at the practice should be professional and approachable, so that you feel comfortable to ask any questions you might have about treatment, any related costs or any concerns you have about risks or potential outcomes.
Should I trust my dentist when they recommend certain treatments?
Dentists undergo many years of training and have to pass various qualifications in order to be able to legally treat patients, so they are experts in their field and will generally only recommend treatment that they think is most suited to your specific circumstances.
However, if your dentist recommends dental procedures or a treatment plan that you’re not sure about, it’s important that you ask any questions that you might have and discuss all of the options before agreeing to treatment.
It is a requirement of dentists to ensure they fully explain treatments before you agree to them, including letting you know of any risks involved. This is so that you can make an informed decision about the procedure or plan. If they fail to properly explain what is involved, or don’t tell you about risks or potential outcomes, this might be considered to be dental negligence as they have failed to gain the proper consent before treating you.
What if I am unhappy with treatment I have received from my dentist?
If you’re unhappy with dental treatment that you have received, you may wish to make a complaint about it. You can find out more about making dentist complaints here.
You can change dentists if you are unhappy, but if the care you received was negligent and you have suffered as a result, you might also be able to make a claim for compensation. Get in touch today to find out if you have a claim and what it could potentially be worth. Call 0808 271 4820.