How to find the right dentist?
The first appointment at the clinic
You don’t seem to have any dental emergencies or pain, but you want to make an appointment for a dental check-up? In general, the first appointment has two well-defined parts:
- The dental examination
- Cleaning (also called scaling or prophylaxis)
This first appointment allows the dentist to assess your oral health.
Selection of the clinic
The selection criteria differ from one person to another. People often choose a clinic for the following reasons:
- The dentist is recommended by a close relative;
- The clinic is nearby;
- The opening hours are convenient for them;
- The clinic is professional and reflects their values.
The orientation of the dental clinic
There are two main approaches:
- The conservative approach;
- The preventive approach.
One is no better than the other. The clinic’s approach reflects the convictions and values of the practicing dentist. Two dentists with different approaches will arrive at the same diagnosis, but depending on the approach, the choice or timing of treatment may differ.
For example: For a patient with 4 cavities (3 slightly affected teeth on one surface and the 4th on two surfaces), a more conservative dentist could recommend filling the 4th cavity and monitor the progress of others before proceeding, while a preventive approach dentist could recommend filling all 4 teeth before the cavities damage the teeth too much.
Regardless of the approach, the dentist must:
- to communicate his diagnosis to you;
to make treatment recommendations to you;
notify you of alternative treatments that are also available.
Communication with your dentist is the key
It is not uncommon for a dentist with a so-called preventive approach to prescribe fillings and, after asking the patient about the necessity of the procedures, to decide to maintain or modify his or her prescription under certain conditions. The key is communication! If you are uncomfortable with your dentist’s decisions, ask the right questions to understand why your dentist makes these choices.