What to Look for in a Dentist


Going to the dentist is nobody’s idea of a fun time, that’s understandable. However, if you can find a family dentist that you trust and is good with your kids, it can make all the difference. Dentistry is an interesting profession and I’m sure dentists see all kinds of interesting situations as people hype themselves up to sit in their chair. It can be amusing but it can also be frustrating at times, especially if the poor dentist is busy or running behind and the patient can not seem to get their head around the appointment! However, a patient dentist makes all the difference. Here are some characteristics to look for when searching for your soul mate in the dentistry world.

You see a dentist because they can find things in your teeth and mouths that you can not. If you could recognize and diagnose and treat every oral problem you might encounter, there would be no reason to see a dentist. But we can’t, so we go to see them twice a year and trust that they know what they are doing. The dentristy office is intimidating enough, an ignorant dentist could make it so much worse. Find a dentist would can answer your questions and put your mind at ease regarding treatment and care. If they know what they are doing and are confident in their chosen field, it will be a lot easier for you to place your teeth in their hands.

This is huge. You never want a dentist to pretend he knows more than he does. While you do want a knowledgeable dentist, no dentist is going to know the answer to absolutely every question that you ask. A confident and honest doctor will simply tell you that he doesn’t know if you ask him a question he has not encountered before. Chances are, you probably won’t be the first person to go through anything if he has been doing dentistry for awhile but if you are, being able to say “I don’t know the answer to that, but I’ll gladly find out for you.” is so much more admirable than making up an answer that sounds like it might or might not be true.

Patience is a requirement for a good dentist and not just pediatric dentists either. If your dentist gets easily frustrated with your questions and hesitations, it might be time to look for another one. Good dentists understand that not all dentistry techniques are very comfortable and can be downright painful. If you have a panic attack laying in the dentist’s chair, you want to know that your dentist is going to be able to calm your nerves instead of get annoyed at you and just wait for you to ‘finish freaking out.’ Your dentist should never make you feel like your fears are silly; unfounded maybe, which he can inform you of in a sensitive manner, but never silly.

There’s nothing worse than a dentist that forces conversation. Being overly friendly or chatty or any kind of exaggerated personality can make the patient feel uneasy. Dentists should be confident enough to be themselves and not have to put on a show for their patients. Friendliness and social skills are important but a fake laugh or insincere gesture is quickly picked up by most patients and definitely not appreciated. Look for a doctor that will use their own personality to benefit their practice rather than trying to create a new personality for work that is different than the one they use at home or elsewhere.

Even if the dentist is great at his or her profession, dentistry is a very social career and they need to be comfortable with people and have good people skills and bedside manner. Don’t hesitate to try out a new dentist if you feel that your dentist is not meeting the standards of quality that you like them to. For example, a cosmetic dentist should be able to explain the benefits of the surgery rather than point out all the negative things about your mouth. Tact is a big part of people skills and it’s important for a dentist to have that ability in his belt.

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