In all my years of practicing dentistry, I have never once taken for granted that the person sitting in my chair has exercised a choice in being there. And while I can cite my qualifications as a skilled and compassionate clinician, it is my patient who chooses me to be his/her dentist and not the other way around. Dentistry can be daunting, so having the right dentist can help calm any fears you have about impending dental work and make the trip to the chair less stressful. (We are talking about DENTAL CARE, not the Spanish Inquisition!)
So, just how do you go about choosing a dentist? There are several things to consider when finding the perfect dentist for you.
Ask Friends and Family: First and foremost is the power of word-of-mouth. Ask your friends about their dental experiences and who they recommend. It has been said that one judges a person by the company they keep; who knows you better than close friends or family? There is a good chance that if someone in your inner circle of people have a good feeling about the dentist they see, you probably will too. If you have special needs or desires, your friend may have had similar concerns at some time. I can’t begin to tell you how many groups of happy satisfied patients I have that began with one person.
Do Your Research: Go online and research dental practices in your area. Dentist websites should list the dentist’s credentials and experience, and give you a feeling about what an experience there is like for a patient. Call the office if you have other questions, and if you are interested in specific services, like cosmetic dentistry or sleep dentistry, make sure that the dentist you choose is experienced.
Ask Questions: The most important thing to remember is to ask questions! If the dentist’s website doesn’t provide all the answers, make a list of questions to ask when you call the office, or when you meet for a consultation.
Location: Consider your ideal location or neighborhood for your dentist to be in. Make sure that your new dentist is near your home, work, or public transportation. A conveniently located dentist means fewer skipped appointments (especially for scaredy-cats!).
Ask to Speak to the Dentist: If you are thinking about making an appointment but still have trepidations, call the office and ask to speak with the doctor. A good and caring dentist will be happy to speak to you on the phone, even if you are not already a patient. Don’t be shy if you are dentist-phobic. It’s important to be honest with the prospective dentist and voice your concerns. Get a feel for his or her response.
The more comfortable you are from the get-go, the less stressful the visit will be. (And if you can find a dentist that makes you laugh, even better!)
By the way, the same applies to people who are seeking specific treatment (implants, periodontal care, cosmetic care, etc.): ask to speak to the dentist prior to your appointment. A return phone call is a small price to pay for the privilege of being your doctor.Dr. Michael Sinkin has been practicing dentistry for over two decades. He truly cares about the experience his patients have and takes great pride in making them feel relaxed and comfortable during every visit. Come in for an appointment and experience a different kind of dental practice. You may even receive a healthy dose of Dr. Sinkin’s famous comic relief!
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