The most important thing you need to keep in mind when you are looking for a dentist is to rule out the possibility of ending up with unfitting dental implants, oral infections because of improper sterilization or dental veneers that look like big white squares rather than natural teeth.
Look around the dental office
You will first go for a routine checkup, and at this time no dental intervention is performed. You should take your time to look around and check for hand sanitizers, plenty of paper towels and the box with the sterilized instruments. The floor should be immaculate, and the sink perfectly clean and shiny.
If the dentist interrupts the checkup to pick up the phone, this is not a good sign. Also, if he is picking up the phone but not taking off the gloves and then getting a new pair while coming back to examine you…again, a very bad sign. These might sound minor details, but in fact they are determining factors in whether he is a good and hygienic dentist or not.
The role of the dental assistant
Watch the dental assistant. Does he have to fit braces, create dentures and maybe administer the anesthetic injection before the extraction?
The role of the dental assistant is only to “assist” the dentist, handing him the tools, prepare the patient for the treatment, obtain the dental records, disinfect and sterilize instruments and the equipment, and preparing the tray for the dental procedures.
Some of the most advanced duties include applying numbing gel onto the gums, apply the dental sealants, and isolate the teeth with rubber dams.
Does your dentist suggest more expensive treatments than needed?
There are a few dentists who simply like to suggest that a patient should go through a root canal therapy when a cavity filling would actually solve the problem.
Then, it may happen that the dentist keeps on sending you to take one dental X-ray after the other- this happens maybe because he gets a certain commission from his radiographer partner.
Then, it may happen that the dentist suggests that no matter what, you should get dental implants, when all you can afford are dental crowns. Maybe it is time to look for a more patient and practical dentist…
Some dentists provoke more pain then necessary
Not all dentists are gentle, and you may have already experienced a dental extraction where you felt the dentist tries to push you into the floor, or drilling your teeth like he would drill a block of concrete and not your teeth.
If you believe that the dentist is causing you more pain than necessary, you should definitely look for a dentist who has a more gentle hand. Some dentists can perform extraction without the patient feeling any kind of pressure, and they can prepare cavities with drilling like they would use a feather.