Do you have a family dentist? Have you been working with him in maintaining the health and beauty of your smile for quite some time? Are you satisfied with his care? If your answer is a resounding yes, lucky you! Not all of us have met and been cared for by trustworthy family dentists. Some even have brief encounters with dentists who care more about their business than their patients. So, if you are in a situation where you are meeting up with a new dentist, you need to watch out for those signs that tell you if you are having your consultation with a good or bad dentist. Let us give you some of the telltale signs of a bad dentist to help you figure out who you can have a good relationship with on a professional level.
Not Asking for your Previous Dental Records
If you are seeing a new dentist in order to further your care, it is quite understandable if he or she would want to request your old dental records from your previous dentist. This will enable him to track down what has happened to your teeth, the procedures you may have undergone, and other information that may help him better care for your dental health. Ideally, your dentist should have performed a complete dental assessment, and this includes history taking. If during the initial consultation, he did not even ask if you have previously seen a dentist and if you have records for it, it might be difficult to expect comprehensive dental care from this professional. This is a sign that you may need to think twice. Ask him about his assessment of your teeth and gums and what his care plans are, and if you are not satisfied, then it is a sign that you may need to find someone else to trust.
Not Using Modern Dental Technology
Do not get us wrong; we have nothing against seasoned and well-experienced dentists who have honed and established their names using tried-and-tested dental procedures and equipment. We cannot deny the fact that metal braces remain the gold standard in orthodontics, although a lot of innovative teeth straightening procedures have risen since. But suppose you want to experience advanced healthcare to know the better possibilities that can be made with your dental problem. Then, in that case, dentists who stick to old dental technology may not be the best professionals to partner with. As time passes, science and technology are continuously opening doors to more advanced diagnostic and treatment procedures to better care for your dental health. Maybe it is wiser to find a dentist who has established his name as a reputable dentist who can perform both tested and innovative dental procedures.
Having a Dirty and Disorganized-Looking Dental Office
Want to know signs of a bad dentist? This is probably it. When it comes to healthcare, cleanliness and sanitation are topmost priorities. So, if the dentist you are seeing now does not follow proper hygienic protocols, you should be smart enough to walk away from this situation. Your safety cannot be assured if you let him take charge of your dental procedures, seeing that his workspace may harbor germ growth and contamination by neglecting the cleanliness and sterility of the area. Furthermore, not owning any sterilizing equipment, like an autoclave, is your best pass to set your foot out the door.
Not particular with Oral Cancer assessment
Dentists nowadays have a clear understanding of how widespread cases of oral cancer can be, so it is expected that your dentist would request for you to have regular oral cancer screenings at least every 6 months. This is to make sure that early detection is performed, increasing your chance to recover and survive this ordeal with flying colors. If your new dentist does not require you to do so, or is not requesting you to let him perform your screening, and is not particular with assessing your mouth for lesions, then it is reasonable for you to question his consistency in taking care of your dental health.
Requiring several Dental Procedures as ‘Urgent’
It is your first time to see a new dentist after being in the care of a family dentist for years. After the assessment, he tells you that you need extensive dental procedures to correct your dental problem. Changing your amalgam fillings, having several root canals, and introducing you to modern (and very expensive) forms of dental surgery all at once may sound too complicated. This is especially worrying and suspicious if you know that you have been taking good care of your mouth. Most of the time, patients who have visited their dentists once or twice a year would require very minimal dental procedures. So if you did not neglect your teeth and gums before going to this new dentist, then you have the right to doubt his recommendations and may have the ticket out the door.
Hearing Negative Comments from Previous Patients
If you live in a small town, the chances of having two or three dentists in your area are high. These dentists may have cared for you and your neighbors, and patients in surrounding suburbs and cities. If you want to switch dentists, one of the best measures that you can have to get an idea about their services is through feedback from previous (and even present) patients. A highly-regarded dentist takes care of his reputation and makes it a point to provide quality care to all his patients. If you hear negative comments about how he performs his procedures and how he regards his patients, that is somehow one of the signs of a bad dentist.
Refusing or Unable to Show their Work Portfolio
Most established dental clinics now have their own websites to advertise their dental health services. If they are keen on getting the trust and interest of their patients, they should show images of their previous works as proof of the quality of their care and services. For instance, you would want to trust a dentist who has a before-and-after gallery of previous patients whom he has helped solve their moderate to hard dental complications and problems. That would give you an idea about how effective their procedures are and how successful their services will be. If the dentist you are seeing has no portfolio whatsoever of his previous dental treatment procedures, you would not have enough reference and evidence that you are in the safe and right hands.
Dental health may be overlooked, but the truth is, choosing your dentist is an essential part of caring for your general health. We hope that we are able to help you distinguish and determine if your present dentist or your new one is an ideal one for you. Choose wisely so that your safety, comfort, and well-being overall well-being are promised.