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Top 3 Qualities To Look Out For When Choosing A Dentist

choosing a dentist

When we take care of our bodies, we should not forget to consider our oral health as well. You may not be aware of it, but your mouth, teeth, and gums are actually directly related to your body’s overall condition as well as quality of life. It can also provide early clues to many ailments that are starting to develop inside your body.

This is because the mouth is one of the main pathways for harmful viruses and bacteria to enter the body. It is basically the gateway to your digestive and respiratory tracts, and from there, to your blood and the rest of your organs.

Recent studies have shown that oral health is also one of the 10 main indicators of a community’s overall health condition, and even impacts their life in terms of socializing, productivity, and ability to secure a job. Aside from this, poor oral hygiene can lead to other, more serious complications such as gum disease, heart complications, diabetes, or cancer.

This is why it is important to practice proper oral hygiene as well as having regular visits to your dentist. Your visits to your dentists should not occur only when you are in pain or you already feel that something is wrong with your teeth, or oral cavities.

It is also better to have one dentist that you go to regularly because he will be more familiar with your records and thus be able to detect any abnormalities much faster compared to a new doctor. Of course, this is not a decision to be made lightly, especially when you consider the importance of oral health to your overall well-being.  To help you decide, here is a quick checklist that you can use when looking for a dentist: 

1. Training And Accreditation

When choosing a dentist, one of the first things you should look for is his expertise. You don’t want to risk your health by going to a dentist who does not have enough experience and proper training to help you take care of your well-being.

Make sure he has undergone the necessary training and are able to share with the certifications that would prove his competence. Aside from the dental license required by your state, check also for other specialized training they have taken especially if you have particular requirements such as dental surgery or implants.

If you have insurance, check if the dentist that you are eyeing is included in your insurance provider’s network. You may still opt to go with a dentist who is not part of the network, but it may cost you more since your insurance provider may require additional fees, depending on your healthcare plan.

2. Accessibility

Look for a dentist who has a clinic that is closer to your home. Aside from the cost of gas, parking, or transportation fare, you also wouldn’t want to be wasting a lot of time on the road going to and from your dentist’s clinic. Choose a dentist nearby who can provide comprehensive care and the services you need to take care of your oral health.

Clinic hours are also an important consideration. Find a dentist whose clinic hours coincide with your free schedule, so you won’t have to take a leave from your work or school every time you have to go to your dental appointment.

3. Affinity

Your relationship with your dentist is largely based on trust, and to get to this point, you must first feel comfortable enough in his presence. After all, you will be spending a considerable period in his clinic with your mouth wide open most of the time. It would be difficult to sustain this if you don’t trust your doctor.

Look for a dentist who is patient in answering your questions and is able to communicate well. He should take the time to explain technical terms to you in a way that you would understand. This is important because only by fully understanding your condition would you be able to properly follow his oral care regimen.

The atmosphere inside the clinic and the attitude of the staff are also important because you will have plenty of interactions with them as long as you go to the same dentist. They will be the ones to keep your dental records, set your appointments, and send you reminders when necessary.

“We understand that visiting the dentist can be stressful and even a bit scary for some patients,” says Dr. Antani, a dentist in Albuquerque, NM. “That's why we go above and beyond to create a comfortable and relaxing environment. In addition to our welcoming and friendly atmosphere, we offer several comfort items and amenities like aromatherapy, lip balm, warm face towels, comfortable neck pillows, and beverage options.”

Getting feedback from other patients would also help since this will give you a better grasp of his character and behavior. You could get the chance to talk to them while you are waiting for your turn in the reception area of the clinic. Some of your friends and family may also know the dentist or may want to have their own referrals, so it would also be a good idea to ask around before you make your final choice.