If you are new to the Westerville, OH, area, one of the items on your long to do list may be finding a dentist for your family. But how do you find a great one? As you consider the dental offices in your local region, you can use this list as a guide of important things to look for. You can discern some of these aspects of a dental office by perusing the website. Others may require an in-person visit. When you find the combination of all of these factors, you know you have found a great dentist to serve your family’s dental needs.
Highly Skilled Doctors
A great dentist must be both knowledgeable and highly skilled. All licensed dentists have the right education. The skills necessary to perform excellent dentistry develop through diligence and experience. This does not mean that every “old” dentist is a great dentist, and every “new” dentist is not. It means that there are some dentists who work more diligently to continually develop the techniques and skills they need to provide their patients with the best care.
You can learn something about the skill of the practicing doctors in a particular practice by reading online reviews where other patients share their experiences from this office. The doctors’ bios on the websites also provide information about the education and additional specialized training they received that qualifies them to care for you.
Undergoing dental treatment makes many people nervous. Your comfort level with a particular dental office increases as you experience the compassion of the various team members through your interactions with them. Working in a dental office requires good people skills, and you can tell when your dental assistant, hygienist and dentist genuinely care about people.
We believe that compassion for people manifests itself in the patient answering of your questions before a dental procedure, concern for patients throughout the procedure, and a thorough explanation of what to expect after the procedure. Look for these qualities expressed by other patients in online reviews, and in your interactions on the phone with front office staff.
A dental team consists of one or more dentists, one or more dental hygienists, a few dental assistants, and several front office staff members. These are all essential workers in an excellent dental practice. When they work together as a team, they provide the highest level of care for their patients. Certain aspects of good teamwork may be visible to you, as the patient, when you observe their interactions with one another.
A great team will also have a relatively low turnover rate. Of course, some turnover is normal. People move or change careers. But in general, a team that has worked together for years is a good one!
The use of advanced technology in dentistry is evidence of a few important traits in the dental practice. Advanced technology, such as digital x-rays, makes dental visits faster, safer, and more comfortable for the patients. When a dental practice invests in new equipment and technologies, the patient is the one who receives the payoff.
With advanced technology like digital x-rays, we can gather more information with less radiation. This makes dental care more thorough and safer! With dental lasers, we can perform the same dental procedures in a less invasive way, which promotes faster healing with less post-operative pain. Ask what types of advanced technology a practice has implemented when scheduling a new patient visit!
Commitment to Continuing Education
Dentistry is constantly changing, and dentists must be constantly growing in their knowledge and skills so they can provide their patients with the best care. We know that some people find it frustrating to call to schedule a dental visit on a particular day and find out that their dentist is out for continuing education. Instead of feeling frustrated, you should be encouraged by this! That means your dentist is investing time and money to remain at the top of his or her field, growing in knowledge and skills.
Each state’s licensing board has a minimum requirement for continuing education hours. You want a dentist who completes far more than the minimum!
Clean, Comfortable Environment
The “feel” of the office is also important. Obviously, the cleanliness of a dental practice is essential to the safety of the dental care they provide. The appearance of the lobby and public spaces can give you an idea of the state of the operatories where the dental procedures take place. You certainly want to see a dentist in a clean, safe environment.
The comfort of the space is important, too. When a dental office provides for a relaxing, comfortable experience, you can assume they care about the patient. Large, soft chairs with warm blankets and noise-cancelling headphones can transform your dental appointment into a spa-like experience.
More Questions about Finding a Great Dentist?
Call Serene Smiles today to schedule a tour of our office or a visit with one of our compassionate doctors. We love caring for the families of Westerville! It is a privilege that we take seriously.