A visit to the dentist might stop being a dreaded event once your age crosses into the double-digit territory. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve the warm ambience and friendly smile of a trusted family dentist! Considering that an average healthy individual is expected to schedule an oral health visit once every 6 months, it is best to find someone whom you can trust and comfortably share personal information with.
Children might also benefit from visiting the same practice again and again to provide some sense of grounding and familiarity in what is otherwise a scary experience for most. But finding the right family dentist is more than just googling “Dentist Near Me” and settling for one. We’ve listed some criteria that you should definitely consider whilst choosing a dentist in Penrith.
What Are Their Qualifications and Years of Experience?
Of course, the first thing you should look for is their credentials! The speed with which the dental field is advancing can put any Olympic runner to shame. New technology and procedures make their way to the forefront every day. So while every dentist has certainly undergone grueling hours at dental school, it is equally important to find someone who keeps up with the new challenges and techniques.
Most, if not all dentists are required to complete a certain amount of continuing education hours to keep up to date with the latest technologies and procedures. They may even display their certificates that show their accomplishments over time.
Take a Look at the Service Packages and Checkup Pricing
While regular cleaning might only be a bi-annual affair, a chipped tooth can happen anytime. Check whether the clinic you are seeking offers services beyond professional teeth cleaning. Some services you might want to look out for include wisdom tooth extraction, teeth whitening, kid’s dentistry (paediatric), restorative treatment, root canal treatment, treatment of gum diseases, Orthodontic treatment, implant treatment and cosmetic dentistry. Find someone with a reasonable fee structure, or who offers a package for the entire family.
What is the Ambience of the Clinic?
Children are especially susceptible and sensitive to the ambience of a place. Several children’s dentist clinics play soothing music or contain colourful wallpapers and toys to make them feel more at ease. If you have time, you can even visit the clinic and check out the Waiting Room area.
See whether the behaviour of the staff, cleanliness of the place, and overall vibe matches what you have in mind. We all know that it can be a downright hassle to get kids to their dental appointments. Having a clinic that makes them feel welcome might help with their phobia.
Does Your Dentist Accept Your Insurance Plan?
If you have dental insurance, make sure that your plan covers the clinic of your choice. In the event that you ever have to undergo prolonged dental treatment, the plan could help you save a significant amount.
Certain procedures like getting dental crowns/implants or braces might cost upwards of $5000 AUD for an 18-month plan. Most practices have point of sale insurance claiming (HICAPS) which allows them to process your claim after your treatment so that you only pay the difference between their fee and the health fund rebate.
Conclusion: So How Do You Finally Settle On Someone?
Credentials, comfort and communication (the three C’s!) are extremely important, especially when it comes to finding the right children’s dentist. But ultimately, above all logistics, choosing the perfect dentist is a personal decision. So, there are hundreds of other reasons you might want to give more priority to, like whether the clinic has appointments flexible with your schedule, their emergency response procedure, staff behaviour and their track record.
Perhaps your family would be more comfortable with a dentist of a specific gender or a clinic located in a specific area. If you have a prior positive experience with a specific hospital, you might want to engage with a dentist there. A good family dentist is one who can make you smile not only after, but also during the check-up!
Another common way many people choose their dentist is by referral from friends or family. Those you trust most are those that are closest to you, and their experiences often carry a lot of weight in making decisions.