Proper, regular dental care is essential to good overall health, according to the Mayo Clinic. Poor oral hygiene can increase a person’s risk of infection and even lower his or her immune system. However, if you’re new to an area, it can be a challenge to find a dentist with whom you’ll be happy. Below are a few things to consider when looking for dentists taking new patients:
Positive traits of dentists
When looking for a new dentist, you’ll want a dentist who takes a personal interest in patients and their health, who takes an interest in providing preventative care as well as corrective care.
You’ll also want your new dentist to conduct a thorough inspection of the teeth, gums, lips, inside of the cheek, palate as well as inspect and feel the neck for lymph nodes and enlargement of thyroid gland.
Good dentists schedule regular, follow-up and preventative care visits.
Takes the necessary time
Price is not the best way to judge quality; rather, you should pay attention to the time the dentist takes to do the work. High-quality dentistry cannot be done assembly-line style; it takes time and meticulous attention to detail.
Has the necessary education and experience
You also want to look at dentists who can provide you with a clear understanding of what is to be done and has considered all treatment options.
Negative traits of dentists
Flamboyant advertising can indicate mass production rather than quality care.
Low, one-time pricing
Though it may sound attractive, dentists who advertise one-visit comprehensive treatment may not be interested in long-term maintenance care.
A small percentage of dentists promote unscientific practices. You should avoid any dentists who promote dietary supplements and vitamins to augment their dental procedures, automatically recommend removing teeth with root canals and/or replacing amalgam fillings, “specialize” in treating things other than teeth, such as backaches, TMJ, headaches or myofascial pain and preach the dangers of fluoridation.
General tips when looking for dentists
In addition to the positive and negative traits discussed above, you’ll want to look for a dentist who offers emergency dentistry services as well as preventative ones. It’s also wise to be cautious about dentists who recommend elaborate treatment plans.
Ultimately, choosing among the many dentists in your area who are taking new patients is a personal decision. However, taking some time to get to know him and how he manages his practice can help ensure that you’ll be satisfied with your dental care for years to come.