1) Do your cleanings feel rushed? Your hygiene appointments are the cornerstone of your oral health. It is important to pick an office that will not rush you in and out with a quick cleaning. Does the doctor do a thorough exam after the cleaning, and take time to address your questions and concerns? These are all important things to take into account. Pick an office that devotes the proper amount of time to take care of your teeth and address your questions! 2) Do you see a revolving door of dentists? Dentistry is all about relationships. A good dentist will be able to, over time, recognize certain behavioral and dental patterns in their patients and advise them appropriately. Trust is also gained over time when a dentist has the opportunity to prove their ethical standards by advising the patient on their options when dental problems arise. None of this can be done if a dental office has a revolving door of dentists, and may hint at underlying problems. 3) Is your dentist seeing you for your cleaning? Simply put, dentists are trained for several weeks in dental school on how to clean teeth. Hygienists go to a specialized hygiene program and are trained for two years. Who would you want to see? One exception is if your office is a brand new startup, and the young fledgling dentist is still trying to get on his or her feet. But otherwise, seeing a dentist regularly for hygiene appointments can be a red flag. 4) Is your dentist investing in new technology? Modern dentistry is quite different from what you may remember as a child! One of the biggest game changers in dentistry in the past twenty years has been CADCAM single day crowns, scanned and milled chairside in one appointment! Gone are the days of having to wear an uncomfortable temporary crown for 3 weeks before returning, getting numbed up again, and then hearing that the crown doesn’t fit. So there you have it, four insider tips to look for when visiting your dentist. Keep in mind these are just general guidelines and certainly are not hard and fast rules on selecting a good dental practice. But these days, knowledge is power, and knowing what to look for certainly puts the power in the patients’ hands!
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