It’s tough to choose a dentist.
I’ll tell you a bit of a story about myself. My father was my dentist growing up and I HATED going to the dentist. I wouldn’t let him look in my mouth half the time and when he had to pull out a baby tooth that didn’t come out on its own, I was screaming loud enough for neighboring business to come over in concern. Needless to say, since I couldn’t escape the dentist, I decided to join them.
A large portion of people, almost 50%, do not have a dentist they visit on a consistent basis. It’s best not to be one of these people, as when you will be forced to visit a dentist due to an emergency or pain, the results will usually be more intensive and expensive.
What’s to be done?
Choose a dentist. Choose a good one. See them consistently.
Now being honest, just as in any field, there are good and bad dentists. There are plenty of good dentists and enough of the bad. Needless to say, it’s hard to know where to start.
As a dentist, here is the path I would take if starting from scratch:
1) Ask your friends-Someone who has had a lot of dental work done or has been with a doctor a while will have a good feel for their own dentist.
2) People have a hard time judging dental work. It’s more a matter of seeing if they are willing to answer your questions, give you information to make the right decisions, and don’t aggressively diagnose you.
3) Dental work is expensive. It is. Dentists go to school for a significant amount of years and undergo a lot of training to do what they do. Go to someone that does good work, not necessarily cheap work. If you are interested in the cheapest deal, you get what you pay for. From someone on the “inside”, it IS worth it to pay more for work that lasts longer and treats your mouth well.
4) Ask questions. What are they good at, is there anything they do well in particular? How do they educate their patients about dental hygiene? It’s the manner in which they answer your questions that will tell you if they are a conscientious practitioner or merely going through the motions.
5) Note the cleanliness of the office. An office that is organized and clean is usually a good sign.