It’s a question we get asked a lot here at Good-Gums, so we thought we’d put together a nice, juicy, jam-packed article full of useful information, that will hopefully make your search for a dentist a whole lot easier. Please remember to comment below the article, if you have any questions for us.
Finding the right dentist is all about getting your needs met. Not just your specific dental needs but also your environmental, financial and emotional needs.
Environmental – does the location and environment of your dentist fit your requirements?
Financial – is your dentist affordable with various payment plans available to you?
Emotional – does your dentist listen to you and make you feel safe and well looked after?
We believe it’s the dentists’ job to inspire confidence and trust in their patients, especially as most of us have some vague but mostly unpleasant memory attached to our past terrifying trips to the dentists.
Most adults do not visit a dentist unless they have an emergency. And believe it or not, in most cases, the main concern is not so much due to their lack of affordability or availability, but rather a psychological scarring of bad experiences when they were young.
When you’re five years old and have to be strapped to a chair with your mouth held open to allow for sharp metal implements to poke and prod around your mouth, it doesn’t leave you with the happiest of memories, no matter how many lollipops or Disney stickers you’re given in order to ease what can only be described as a semi-traumatic experience.
And not to mention the very first time you
had to have a tooth out! When you’re a child, it’s a living nightmare! So it’s no wonder that most of us going into adulthood will avoid visiting the dentist like the plague!
So we know, dentists have a pretty hard job trying to get back into people’s good books after those torturous ordeals of the past, but nevertheless, it’s a book worth getting back into if they have any chance of developing a trusting, safe and honest relationship with their patients. And you should settle for nothing less than a dentist who wants to get back on your good side!
Another thing to consider is whether you are looking for a general dentist for ongoing care, maintenance, and checkups, or whether you are looking for a dentist specialized in the specific treatment you are requiring (be it restorative or cosmetic).
So on that note, we’ve made a little list of things you may want to consider when choosing a dentist that is right for you.
Seeing as trust is a big factor when choosing a dentist that is right for you, asking your nearest and dearest is a good place to start. They can offer genuine advice about the dentist’s personality, office environment, cost, and how accommodating they feel the staff are.
Your doctor, health insurance provider or even local pharmacist may also be able to recommend a suitable dentist for you.
Qualifications and services to suit your needs
Not all dentists offer the same services so we recommend you get on the phone and ask the right questions catered to your needs. The dentist or staff members will be able to inform you about the dentist’s training and services they offer. A few questions you may want to ask are:
- Does the dentist specialize in cosmetic or restorative dental work?
- What specific qualifications do they have and where did they train?
- Do they offer digital x-ray services (which expose patients to much, much less radiation than x-rays using film)?
- What are their office hours?
- What payment plans are available?
- What is the waiting time to get an appointment?
- Do they take emergency appointments?
You may have many more questions you would like to ask. If the dentist or staff members seem in any way uneasy about answering your questions, we recommend you move on and keep looking. You are able to find out information about the dentist’s qualifications from your local dental society or your insurance provider.
The cost of dental care varies dramatically from person to person and place to place. For example, a dentist in Beverly Hills will charge significantly more than a dentist located in other surrounding areas mainly because of rental and operational costs, which will often be shared by the patient. So getting an estimate of cost for various dental practices would be a good idea.
We recommend asking about payment plans to suit your needs, upfront consultation costs and what will be covered by your health insurance. But don’t choose a dentist on price alone, although affordability is an important factor, having a dentist you can trust and feel comfortable with is worth sacrificing a few extra dollars for.
Location and atmosphere
It is always advisable to choose a dentist close to your home or workplace, which will make your dentist visits a lot more convenient for you. Once you have a couple of dentists in mind, the final step would be to go and meet the team and check out their office space. How does it feel when you walk in? Is it a warm friendly environment? Does the office appear clean and tidy? Does the equipment and treatment room also appear clean and tidy?
It is important that you feel safe in the area your dentist is located and that the environment in the office immediately makes you feel at ease.
As we previously mentioned, dental anxiety is extremely common. So much so, that practices now offer a variety of services that aim to make a patient feel more at ease. While most practices offer certain relaxants such as nitrous oxide to help relieve nervousness, some practices go as far as offering their patients headphones, aromatherapy, gentle music and massage before a treatment or procedure. This would be a good thing to inquire about during your initial consultation. It is important that you feel welcomed, taken care of and listened to by your dentist and their team.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing the right dentist for you is whether you feel truly comfortable with that person and that they understand your concerns. This may mean you have to search around for a while to find the right one, but don’t worry, we promise you will find a dentist that can cater to all your needs. Because remember, you deserve it!
Another great resource, which will also help you keep costs to a minimum; is to get in touch with your local dental school. Most dental school clinics accept new patients and have very reasonable costs compared to other private clinics. Routine checks will usually be performed by a dental student who is completing their advanced training and will be supervised by a fully licensed dentist. You can rest assured that although the dentist will still be in training, the level of service is excellent. This is largely due to their desire to impress the teachers who will be watching over them assessing their every move!
If you are considering getting in touch with your local dental school, check out the list of dental schools in the United States and Canada to find out which school is nearest to your area.
Keep on top of your
We cannot stress enough the importance of your own personal dental hygiene practices. The truth is, if your oral health is kept to an impeccable standard and you are using the right dental products, you will not need to visit your dentist more than twice a year for a regular checkup and professional dental cleaning.
It is essential that you are brushing and flossing your teeth daily in order to consistently remove plaque build-up. It can take as little as 24 hours for plaque to turn into hard calcified tartar or calculus, which then makes it almost impossible to remove, so the best time to remove plaque is during it’s beginning stages when it is soft and fragile. Flossing is therefore very important for getting in between the spaces where disease starts to take hold. We recommend you check out our article, ‘To floss or not to floss,’ which tells you more about the importance of flossing and how to floss with optimal efficiency.
When brushing your teeth, we recommend that you use a soft toothbrush so you don’t aggravate the gums. If you’re using an electric toothbrush make sure that the bristles are soft and that you do not use too much pressure when brushing. Be aware to pay particular attention to the gum line.
We also recommend interdental brushes to remove plaque from the hard to reach areas.
The tooth powder that feels
like a ‘professional dental cleaning’
Here at Good-Gums, we believe that going ‘back to nature’ is the most beneficial thing we can do for our oral health. The creator of Good-Gums powder, Isabelle Dunkeson, has designed an all-natural tooth powder, packed full of essential nutrients that are easily absorbed by the gums and give help right where it’s needed. Many of our customers have reported that after using Good-Gums they feel like they have just come from a professional dental cleaning. Smoother, cleaner and fresher than ever!
“I have never had anything that felt like my teeth are this clean unless I just recently went to a dentist to have a professional dental cleaning”
–Roberta G, Good-Gums customer.
The only ingredients we use are myrrh, peppermint, baking soda, French grey sea salt, cinnamon, cranberry, vitamin-C and citrus bioflavonoids – and nothing else! Good-Gums powder is free of artificial colors and flavors, free of harsh abrasives and chemicals, fluoride free, glycerin free and packaged in a box made of 100% recycled paper. Nothing else gets added to our tooth powder that can’t be found in the purest places on the planet. Take a more detailed look at our ingredients list to read more about how each ingredient benefits your oral health.
If you would like to hear Isabelle’s story click here.
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