Like the attention you give to choosing a quality healthcare provider for yourself and your family, you also need
to pay the same heed while choosing a dentist. Regardless of the purpose,
having a dentist you can rely on for your dental health is crucial for an oral
Dental health problems cause anxiety to many people as they
relate it to needles and pain. Sometimes, these feelings are so high that it
stops them from visiting a dentist despite shooting pains in their mouth.
However, when you have a trusted dental care provider, you will not question
their professional capabilities in healing your problems.
Further, a good family dentist will take care of your dental
needs whenever needed. But before giving in to fancy dental ads promising
pain-free treatments, you need to evaluate your options in detail. We have
compiled a list of questions you can ask the dentist to assess their
compatibility, authenticity, professionalism, etc. These assessment queries
should demand satisfactory responses that enhance the reliability of the oral
These questions will let you know the professional's
qualifications, principles, working ways, etc. Thus, you can make an informed
choice of staying free from dental health problems.
Questions to ask a dentist
Here's a complete list of questions you must ask your dentist before committing to them:
Question 1: What are your areas of specialization?
This question will get you to the depths of your dentist's
professional qualifications and interests. You should ask them about their
qualifications, education, training, certifications, licenses, etc. Know
whether they are associated with any professional organization.
With this question, you will delve deeper into the range of
services your dentist is capable of handling. Moreover, you will also know
their extensive training in one or more fields. If they have significant
experience in one area, how do they stay up-to-date with the recent advances in
You will know the specialty area of the dentist. For instance, it could be TMJ, orthodontics, implants, cosmetics, or something else. Further, you can learn whether they have experience in dealing with kids.
Accompany this question with queries about the experience in
dental procedures. For example, how many times a week or month do they perform
oral surgeries? How were the results? Getting answers to these queries will
have three-fold benefits. One, you will get to know whether the dentist is a
legitimate professional. Two, what makes them unique? Three, what philosophies,
values, and beliefs drove them to be dental professionals?
Question 2: How do you ensure your patient leaves with complete satisfaction and a positive outlook on you?
An excellent dentist will ensure that no patient leaves
their facility with dissatisfaction on their face and in their minds. Sure,
they might have to feel the pain from the procedure, but it should not overcome
the fact that the dentist did a top-notch job in helping the patient.
In today's digital business world, a dentist knows the value
of positive over negative reviews. If they do not want to run out of business,
they'll have to treat each one fairly and happily. The more loyal patients a
dentist has, the more proof that the dentist does excellent work. Further,
positive testimonials ensure that the dentist has earned adequate respect in
their field through high patient satisfaction.
Moreover, reviews aren't just to analyze the dentist's
competency. It also highlights their personality traits. Often, many
technically excellent dentists lag and receive negative reviews because they
weren't polite or lacked common values. So, when you go to a dentist, stock up
on the positive and negative reviews online, and ask them to address both.
Their reaction will let you know about the dentist's behavioral traits.
Question 3: Do you provide payment plans?
Another crucial question to consider relates to the payment
aspect. Dentist fees and procedures can rack up to cost high. You might not
even know it, but one or another problem diagnosed can lead you to high
treatment fees. In such circumstances, knowing what payment plans the dentist
offers can help you in your decision-making.
Most people do not even have medical insurance, let alone
dental insurance. Therefore, when this coverage isn't available, you need to
look to other options for paying dental charges. Diverse payment modes like
cash, credit card, and net banking must be acceptable for dentists.
However, if the bill is too high, you might need monthly installments or interest-free payment programs to continue. In such circumstances, the dentist must have the available options so that no patient goes without adequate access to dental care. A practical, logical, and dedicated oral healthcare provider will prove his dedication by offering flexible payment options.
Therefore, how they behave in such circumstances will let you know whether they're in only for money or are they really passionate about their work.
Question 4: What advanced technology do you utilize for treatments?
Technological advancements in the dental health sector have
been vast in recent times. It has led to a rise in their capabilities in
diagnosing and treating dental problems. Innovations like digital x-rays and
laser dentistry enable the detection of early signs of severe problems. Often,
many underlying issues go unnoticed because the oral signs and symptoms might
be too bleak to notice. Further, there might be no warning signs for such
However, advancements in technology, x-rays, etc., aim to
find out the issues early to resolve them early. All dentists might not be able
to afford or utilize the technological advancements. Despite that, they should
have knowledge regarding the same. They should apply some of these advances to
treat their patients to the best of their abilities. A dentist passionate about
incorporating innovations in dental science and who possesses technological
capabilities can treat your problem efficiently and effectively.
Further, ask the dentist how frequently they merge
technology and their profession to treat the patients. For instance, inquire
about the procedure for x-ray taking, how often they do so, whether it happens
before the treatment plan or after, etc. If they aren't into x-rays while
detecting dental problems, you might want to go to the next best alternative.
Question 5: How do you determine the frequency of visits I need?
The oral health problem or challenges you might have will
have to be divided into different sessions across a specific period.
Determining the number of visits in such a period optimally shows the
expertise, accuracy, and proficiency of the professional. Each patient comes
with a set of problems that require attention differently. An objective or
subjective approach to this scenario might vary according to the situation. A
strategic approach becomes necessary to achieve the desired results. If the
dentist lacks it, they might be unable to prioritize between the essential and
elective. Therefore, you need to ask them how they measure the progress toward
the end goal and divide your visits so that neither your time gets wasted, nor
Ask them if they provide a written treatment plan. Whenever
an oral health problem gets detected, your dentist should give a written
diagnosis, itemized treatment plans, and a timeline as a routine procedure.
Having this information on record is crucial to the relationship between the
patient and the provider. Try not to trust a dentist who relies on instincts
and treats problems without a well-documented and systematic plan.
Question 6: How do you treat emergencies and understand the connection between the gut and dental health?
As the connection between the gut and dental health becomes
more evident, your dentist shouldn't be the one shying away from it. Many
health conditions of the body can cause problems with dental care, hygiene, and
illnesses. Your dentist needs to know the complete story behind your sickness
for effective treatments. Knowledge about overall health will help them advise
proper care and let you understand the dental implications. In addition, they
should be able to describe how gum diseases can be linked to cancer, heart
ailments, rheumatoid arthritis, and other severe medical conditions.
Because of health issues, you might have to go through
emergency care. Usually, dentists have a strict schedule for their clinics.
Damaged restorations, oral trauma, and other issues might arise anytime. Your
dentist should let you know the recourse and dental practices they offer in
emergencies. Flexible after-hours, weekend appointments and additional
flexibility plans might be in their schedule. So, ask for them to obtain
security for future dental emergencies.
Wrapping it up
Inquiring a dentist will give you more significant insights
into their practices and treatments. You can verify whether they're compatible
with you and ensure an intelligent decision. While choosing a dentist, you need
to establish a comfort level and a connection with your dentist. Moreover, you
should also link positively with their office staff for a better customer
In the end, you need to trust your gut while making this decision. If the dentist doesn't answer your queries per your satisfaction levels, you are free to go to the next alternative.
As a Digital Strategist at Oris Dental, Emma Martin extensively
writes about dental health, dental care tips, and other general
healthcare-related content. She has been a vital part in helping them build a
credible online presence through actionable content strategies that drive SEO,
social media, and other marketing mediums. From planning and creating content
to execution and evaluation, she oversees and manages all aspects of digital
marketing. A problem solver at heart, she has helped many businesses reinvent
their digital persona across a wide range of healthcare industries. Away from
work, she likes to learn new languages and loves to paint.