Your dentist is important for your family, because not only do you visit your dentist regularly, but as a doctor he is the only one who can give you relief from excruciating toothaches. A good dentist, like the family physician, is a person you trust and who is familiar with your health and family history. You should feel comfortable with him, mainly because he is patient, caring and understands your needs. His skills and experience count and so does his staff. He should be affordable for you, and hence it is important to discuss all procedures and finances before venturing to try out some new procedure.
The most important thing that you need to know about your dentist is his skill. The comfort level of the patient is also important when the dentist is treating him. You can get this information only from patients, especially those he has been treating for a long period of time. That is why the experience of the dentist should be known to you and the age as well.
Find out whether the dentist is caring and understanding towards his patients. The comfort level with him should make you feel free to discuss any discomfort or pain that you are having. His good “chair-side manners” should be supported by the staff, whose behavior also plays an important role, especially if you have to make frequent visits to the dentist. The dental team should treat the patient the same way as the dentist does, and you should be able to build up a relationship with your dentist and his team.
The dentist should be a patient man and he should be ready to serve the patient by thinking about the well-being of the patient. With his knowledge and skills he should render the correct treatment, but also explain all the procedures to you and why he is doing it. All options should be openly discussed with you, as there are many alternative treatments in dentistry as compared to medicine.
The cost factor is important too. It is vital for the patient to know how much the treatment is going to cost, and the dentist should inform the patient well in advance of the costs which have to be incurred for the treatment. Cosmetic dentistry, crowns and bridges are expensive, but it is the dentist’s responsibility to make the patient aware of the cost before starting out on the treatment.
Many people have an inert fear of visiting a dentist, especially children. Often a visit is avoided because we dread the thought of the check up on the dentist’s chair. This may have been associated with some bad experience previously. But if you visit a dentist with whom you can easily develop a comfort level then such fears and anxieties will be greatly reduced.