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Is The Dentist Knowledgeable and Competent?

Important questions to ask yourself

The 3rd question you need to answer in order to commit to your own dental health

In this dental blog… Dr Darryl Marsh continues with his list of 9 questions to ask yourself when you are looking for a partner in dental health.

In my last article I looked at the second question you should ask yourself, namely Is this dentist telling me the truth?, when considering who is right to look after your dental health. So now it is time to move onto the next important question when you are finding a dentist to match your needs.

Even dental ‘insiders’ get caught out sometimes

Its a good idea to visit the dentist you are thinking about choosing to see if you like the ‘vibe’ of the practice and the people.

In our practice we have had to redo the failing dental treatments that have been performed for some of our dental assistants by other practitioners. These were intelligent women who were experienced “insiders” in the world of dentistry. Even they were not able to fully understand and assess the suitability of the dental work they received, even though they witness these treatments everyday.

In reality, it takes another dentist to accurately assess the suitability and quality of dental treatment and whether it is performing adequately or not. In many cases these problems were based on a misunderstanding between patient and practitioner of what to expect from the given treatment.

Unfortunately dentists are specialists in a very technical field, and like many people who have specialised knowledge, they can make assumptions when talking to a “lay person” that they already know some of this specialist knowledge and insights.

You are not expected to be an expert – but what can you do?

Whilst you may never have a dentist’s level of understanding, there are, clues that can be gained from other sources.

Was the dentist recommended by a friend whose opinion you trust? Talk to them…

Look online at what other people say and their experiences. Google reviews or other review sites such as TrueLocal.com.au are sometimes useful. What have been other peoples’ experiences?

Be cautious of outrageous claims like “Not only is he the best dentist on the planet, but he’s also the cheapest. Every visit I get every treatment covered fully by my health fund rebate!” Sometimes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Why not pay a visit to the dental practice you are considering?

If you choose to ‘suss them out’ in-person (which is a great way to see if you feel comfortable with a particular dentist) it is a good idea to check the following things:

  • Are the staff warm and friendly?
  • Does the atmosphere have a good “vibe”?
  • Do you get the feeling that the staff feel threatened by your questions and try to dismiss them?
  • Does the office look modern and clean?

Attention to detail in these areas is often related of the level of care and attention to detail in the clinical areas.

Join me next time for find out the fourth question a patient needs to answer before they commit to any dental treatment.

Keep smiling!

Darryl Marsh

Patient Centre

Packed with useful information, links and resources for you – our patient.

More dental resources here

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  • Starting orthodontic treatment at the right time can mean treatment time is less After Braces and Orthodontics - “I had braces in primary school and I am 21 now… …I am worried my teeth have moved and will continue to move and go all over the place again. I am not sure what to do?” – Question from Sam of Stafford in Brisbane Dr David Kerr replies: A great deal depends on your

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