Many individuals' men and women (ladies and gentlemen) think they understand their oral health and personal wellness more than dental health professionals. Yet feel that's their dentists can't meet their needs. This leaves everyone unsatisfied with the quality of dental care we receive during our visit to a dental clinic or government owned dental clinic. Well, if you are the type that is curious about what you can do to rectify this problem.
Here’s what to do and ask before, during, and after your visit.
If your dentist doesn’t pay attention; doesn’t seem to listen to you or makes you feel uncomfortable, as though you’re just being processed through the dental office as part of a dental instrument, rather than being treated as an individual who is trying to improve their oral health, then you are being cheated out of your healthy lifestyle, vitality and dental care possible.
These are the questions that should run through your mind: Ask yourself these questions:
- Does your dentist listen?
- Is your dentist distracted?
- Is your dentist annoying?
- In the office with your dentist, do you feel relaxed?
- Does your dentist not display mastery of their trade?
- Do you lose your voice, become passive, or feel uncomfortable?
- Does your dentist try to be your friend and chat you up?
- Does your dentist push pills, procedures on products on you, a sales job?
- Do you feel pressured by a limited time?
- Do you feel like you are in a processing plant?
- Does your dentist use a medical term and not explain in a layman language?
- Have you received understandable information, so you can follow through with your dentist’s recommendations?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you deserve better.
Anytime you accept less than what you need or deserve or don’t get what you came for during your visit to a dental office, you’re not doing what’s best for you. And while you aren’t to blame, you’re also allowing an unhealthy system to fail at meeting your standards, and likely many other people’s as well.
So what should you do in order to get the best results from your dentist’s office visit? And how can this help you take better charge of your own dental care?
Here are 3 ways to be sure you receive the best dental care possible during your visit, and how to speak up if you don’t get the medical attention you need.
1. Be prepared before you visit a dental office.
In some cases, you might actually know more about Google review, a dental directory, or a dental product than you do about the dentist you’re going to visit, so first, be sure about the type of dental procedure you need or what type of dental care you seek.
It's also sensible to find a dentist near you regardless of the procedure or dental care you need. For example, Smiles On Queen Dentistry and other nearby clinics may be helpful if you’re in Ontario, Canada. Finding a nearby dental clinic is a helpful way to ensure that you immediately get the kind of care you need. If you’re in a rush and need a quick appointment, finding a clinic that’s near your office or home is simpler than having to travel for long.
Another thing to consider is the dentist’s office hours. Ensure that their operating hours can accommodate your free time. If you’re only free during lunch break or after office hours, find a clinic that operates on these hours.
Are you looking for a pain reliever that will ease your symptoms, like a tooth pain or a sharp sensitivity on your teeth? Do you want a diagnosis or to learn the root cause of your dental problem? Do you seek ways to avoid a dental problem? Do you seek the energy to pursue your healthy teeth? Or any other things?
If you are looking for the best drugs for a toothache, perhaps cheap and short wait times that are affordable. If you are looking for oral diagnosis, you may want to check out reviews on the directory; dental website and social media, word of mouth, and the dentist certifications.
You may feel as though you have limited options based upon your dental insurance and cash. In recent time, there is a multitude of dental insurance and cash options to fit your needs. Spend some time choosing the right dentist within the confines of your plan.
Whatever your reason for visiting a dental clinic, it’s important to research what you need beforehand and work out the logistics. Once you find a dental professional that meets your needs, researching them is an important next step.
If you’re planning to have cosmetic dental procedures, then you should find someone equipped with the latest technologies and expertise to do these. With that said, find a dentist with new technologies that’s made to enhance procedures and improve patient experience.
Even if you’re not after a cosmetic procedure, modern equipment should easily see dental problems you may have. Take some time to check the dentist’s website or call the clinic. This can be especially helpful in checking what to expect from the dentist. Or, you can check reviews of previous patients on the dentist’s services. This should be available on their website.
For example, if they’re an oral surgeon, obtain their statistics. Look into how many of these procedures your dentist has performed, what his or her success rate is (be sure to find out they define a “successful” dental procedure), and what are the complication rates?
Let’s say you’re getting a dental implant surgery and one dentist success rate is 80 percent and another’s is 95 percent. The data is reliable, so go with the dentist whose success rate is higher.
This also counts for dentist-to-dentist referrals. Just because one dentist recommends another one, you still need to go through a process. Check out social media and other published reviews, too.
If you do not trust the dentist, find another. Your life depends on it. Prior to your appointment, prepare written summaries of your dental care history, a list of your questions and concerns, and pack a bag of your medications and supplements so you can explain how and when you take every substance.
Make notes of your sleep, exercise, nutrition, stress, and relationships, too — so you can give your dentist a more holistic view of your oral health — and don’t forget your insurance information and identification.
Come on time. Turn off your phone when you’re in the oral diagnosis room. Clear your mind. Relax. Breathe. Relax more.
2. During oral diagnosis, be assertive about what you need.
Be honest. Look your dentist eye-to-eye. Notice if your dentist is distracted by a phone call, not sitting down eye-to-eye, or just not paying attention. If this is a problem, it’s OK to ask for their undivided attention to your diagnosis — your life depends on it. Be tactful, kind, assertive, and calm. Set the tone. Breathe.
If your dentist is not present, masterful, or doesn’t seem to have your best interests in mind, ask them to adjust.
Also, consider how you feel about your dentist and the diagnosis. If your dentist does not respond appropriately, you have the right to leave the visit at any time and seek dental care elsewhere. It’s voting with your dental care dollar. You can also write a review on social media.
When it comes to getting the best dental care possible, everything you choose makes a difference. It all matters.
The way you choose is guided by the way you feel. So if you feel marginalized, nervous, agitated, or like you are being processed as if you were a piece of meat on a conveyor belt, you have the freedom to step off the belt and seek better care.
If you feel uncomfortable, say it out. Your dentist will adjust. Give them feedback. However, there is no excuse for being disrespected or marginalized. It’s easier to adjust when you’re relaxed, so breathe and to eliminate your agitated arousal. It can also help your dentist to relax since our biologists are hardwired to regulate each other.
Hopefully, you will experience a skillful dental professional, get clear information and feel cared for, loved and truly heard. Otherwise, spend your dental care voting dollars elsewhere.
The need to feel heard — by your dentist or dental professional — is innate human nature. Let’s take a look at it this way, for example, a dental nurse who clearly repeated post-operative instructions to the patients may get a higher tip, meaning the people feel they got more quality service.
In a dental clinic, two groups of dental nurses care for 10 people. One group of a dental nurse was friendly and chatty, but did not repeat post-operative instructions back to the individual patients’— even though they clearly indicated they understood by saying things like “OK” or “alright and yes!”
The second group of dental nurse repeated every part of each post-operative instruction to the patients’ back to them. The tips, measure a great individual satisfaction and were higher for the dental nurse in the second group, who accurately read back the instruction, rather than the friendly ones from the first group, who did not.
That’s why, when looking for a dentist, finding one that’s “on point” with the task at hand has a higher value — and is ultimately a stronger connector — than platitudes.
Just like reading back instructions validated that the doctor was heard, the same applies to your dentist. A lot can be accomplished in a little time when you and your dentist are sitting down, eye-to-eye, phone off, the door closed, without distractions.
3. Follow your dentist advice after your visit.
Did you follow your dentist advice? If not, why? Do you feel relaxed with the encounter and the advice you received afterward?
Often, we need a night or two to sleep on an encounter in order to see the bigger picture. You may want to think of it as a meal. There is the anticipation before. Also, the experience. How do you feel an hour after eating a meal, or in this case, going to the dentist? What about the next day?
Trust your feelings. There is no better gauge for measuring your care.
Ask yourself these questions:
- No matter how I entered the clinic, at some point did I relax, and become less anxious and aroused?
- By the end, did I witness a skilled dental professional who cares about nothing other than my health and oral health?”
- Did I receive enough information that I feel confident following my dentist recommendations?
- Do I feel cared for and loved?
- Did I follow through with my dentist advice?
Training yourself and your dentist to better tune into your dental care needs may require some trial and error, but the key to getting the best dental care possible is to start with yourself.