One of the disadvantages for dental patients is that you might not realize if your dentist is not providing you with the level of professional oral care you deserve. Not all dental clinics are the same, with some providing only the bare minimum for their services. When deciding whether or not you are satisfied with the level of dental care you are receiving there are a few things you should consider. Here we explain what good professional oral care looks like to help you know what to look for.
The Entire Professional Oral Care Team Listens To Your Needs
A good dental office ensures the entire team is invested in each patient’s care. As a result, they take the time to listen to your needs. Whether you are trying to find an appointment to suit your busy schedule, are having trouble understanding your dental insurance coverage, have questions about yellowing teeth, or feel nervous about your treatment plan, every question you have should be just as important to the receptionist, dentist, dental assistant, and hygienist.
If a team member doesn’t have the answer, they should speak to other team members who have the technical skills to provide an answer and solution. You don’t want to ever feel rushed out of your chair before having all your questions answered, and instead you want to feel your needs are being met, and your concerns are being resolved.
Your Professional Oral Care Team Is Accommodating
As with above, each patient has special needs and concerns. Your professional oral care office should be accommodating to ensure your needs are met. This might be making special accommodations for medical conditions, or it may be related to a dental or pain phobia that interferes with your treatment. Dental offices must consider every aspect of your care when finding the proper treatment approach based on your dental, medical, and mental health needs.
Your Dental Team Ensures You Understand Treatment Options
Your dentist and team should always be sure they explain your recommended treatment plan. You should be given options if available, and also understand why a treatment is being recommended. Prior to procedures, you should feel comfortable asking questions and your dentist should explain what to expect.
Good Follow-Up From Your Dental Team
Dental clinics that ensure they follow up with patients after each procedure shows a very high level of care. This is a proactive approach to after-care that ensures patients are recovering as expected. As well, you should be given specific instructions, together with a post-procedure care sheet you can follow, along with a contact number to call should you experience issues.
Your Dental Health Team Provides Education On Oral Care
At each checkup and professional cleaning appointment, your dentist and hygienist should look for opportunities to share ways you can improve your oral care regime at home. This might include improved brushing techniques, recommendations to floss more often, or offering other options to make it easier to floss. Many dental clinics keep samples available such as various flossing tools to try and sensitive toothpaste, and will recommend special tools such as water flossers.
Your Oral Care Team Is Respectful Of Your Time
Nothing is worse than wasting precious time waiting for a dentist constantly behind schedule. Your time is just as important as your dentist’s and hygienist’s, and a commitment to remaining on schedule shows you your dentist respects your time. An accommodating schedule, appointment reminders, and even warning calls to let you know if the office is running behind, all ensure your time spent at the dentist is focused on receiving care, and not waiting.
Your Dental Clinic Is Sanitary
COVID aside, your dental office has a responsibility to follow rules and regulations to ensure you receive treatment in a sanitary office with sterilized instruments. You want your professional oral care clinic to be pristine, with every precaution in place to protect your health.
Honest, Personalized Treatment Plans
Just like an auto mechanic can recommend unnecessary repairs, some dentists might try to upsell treatments you don’t need. If you find your dentist is constantly trying to sell items such as electric toothbrushes, or they are pushing for cosmetic treatments you didn’t ask for such as whitening, this could be a sign they are not putting your best interests first.
A good dentist runs their clinic focused on care, not profits. They will also consider if you have dental insurance, and help provide treatments that are mostly or fully covered. Remember there are a few types of dental treatment categories:
- Preventative: These are important appointments that help prevent and reduce the need for costly procedures such as root canals or crowns. Preventative dentistry includes your dental checkups and regular professional cleanings.
- Restorative/General: These treatments are designed to address issues such as cavities, infections, decay, etc. They are required to maintain your dental health.
- Periodontal: Not everyone requires periodontal treatments as this is specific to the gums. If you have gum disease, your dentist will recommend various periodontal treatments to maintain dental health.
- Cosmetic: These treatments are focused on the appearance of your smile. Although not necessary, for some people these treatments are just as important as other types of treatments as it helps improve their confidence and self-esteem.
Other treatments might include wisdom teeth extractions, bite-related treatments, and more. Your dentist should only make recommendations based on your specific needs or based on requests made for treatments such as whitening or straightening.
Your Oral Care Team Builds Long-Term Relationships
Good dentists want to build long-term relationships with their patients. They take time to get to know their patients, understand their health history, listen to their oral health and smile goals, and keep up with their life changes. They should show an interest in your life, your family, and the things that matter to you. They don’t need to get too personal about your life, but they should know you beyond just your name on a chart.
When your dentist takes the time to know and understand you, it helps you feel more comfortable at your appointments and encourages you to ask questions or speak up if you experience discomfort during appointments. You will then likely continue your journey with the same professional oral care clinic for life which helps provide better care overall.
Your Dentist Is Respectful Of Staff
You may not have thought of this one, but how a dentist treats their staff says a lot about their character. A caring professional oral care team with respect for each other reflects the level of care and respect they offer their patients. A dental clinic that demands staff be treated with respect by patients also shows commitment to a healthy culture that you will feel more comfortable being a part of.
It also means the team is happier, and the atmosphere will be more pleasant. Last but not least, a clinic with a positive attitude towards its staff is more likely to attract experienced, knowledgeable team members who want to be part of a professional oral care team.