Choosing the right dentist and dental practice is an important decision. This blog outlines the 5 most important points to consider if you need to choose a new dentist. With a little research and knowing the right questions to ask, you should be able to choose a trusted dentist who will care for you and your family for many years to come.
All dentists, dental nurses, dental hygienists, dental therapists and dental technicians must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) before they can legally work in the UK. The GDC is the body which regulates dental professionals in the UK. You can use the GDC website to check whether your dentist is registered, and the type of qualifications they hold. The GDC also provides a useful checklist of the standards you can expect from your dentist.
As well as individual dental clinicians being personally registered, the dental practice must also be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care services in the UK and provides advice and guidance as well as regular inspection reports to help you choose a dental practice. Checking these two websites can help you understand what standards of care and treatment you should expect when choosing a dentist and dental surgery.
2. Qualifications and training
All dentists must successfully complete five years of undergraduate training and have a Bachelor of Dental Surgery, with the letters “BDS” or “BChD” after their name. Dental clinicians must also attend regular training to keep their skills and techniques up-to-date. When choosing a dental practice, look for evidence of extra qualifications, skills and interests in specialist areas. Some dentists may have additional expertise in a specialist area, such as caring for anxious patients or offering particular types of cosmetic dentistry. Look out for evidence of their qualifications and skills, or ask the dental practice if unsure.
3. The dental practice and the dental team
The dental practice you choose should be clean, tidy and well-organised, with welcoming and helpful practice staff. Your dentist should always be professional, approachable, patient and sympathetic with all types of patient, and you should feel comfortable to ask him or her any questions you may have.
A good dental practice should be transparent about their pricing and fees and you should also check they provide a written treatment plan and estimated cost of treatment. Dental payment plans may also be important to help you plan for and budget for your dental treatment. In addition, your dental practice should make its policies, such as cancellations or a complaints policy clear and easy to access.
4. Convenient hours and location
Choosing a dental practice which is easy and convenient for you to travel to from home or work will make attending regular checkups easier and help you arrive on time. You may want to look out for a practice offering lunchtime or late appointments if you work full-time. Most practices will also accommodate family bookings, so if you have children, you can all be seen at the same time.
5. Dental services offered
Most dental practices now offer a range of services in addition to routine dental care. There are a wide range of cosmetic dental treatments available, and it is important your dentist offers a choice of treatments to help you achieve a healthy mouth and smile. Check out your dental practice website – expect good dental practices should provide a clear, informative website with information, news and offers – all good signs that your dental practice is keen to attract and keep new patients.
Another aspect to consider when choosing a dental practice is emergency dental treatment. Dental emergencies do happen, so it’s important to understand the emergency dental services offered by your dental practice, whether it’s during normal practice hours, evenings or weekends.
This blog has outlined the key areas to consider when choosing a dentist to care for you and your family. Once you have carried out this research, it’s a good idea to ask around your local community to check people’s experience of the dental practice you have in mind. You could even visit the practice or talk to staff there. Most dental patients stay with their dentist for many years, so it’s important to take the time to choose a dentist who makes you feel comfortable and relaxed as well as providing the expert dental care your teeth, mouth and gums need.
Is our dental practice right for you? Contact us on 01458 832 193 today and find out.Previous