It is increasingly rarer in life today that one dentist cares for a patient for that patient’s entire lifespan or for several decades. Patients today are more nomadic due to relocation pressures from their jobs, marriages or retirement.
Each one of these individuals will ultimately be faced with the decision of selecting a new dentist.
Word of mouth from a close friend or family member is probably the best recommendation that one can have in the selection process. Calling the Family dentist Vista to see if they can be of service is another. Sometimes the former dentist has a dental colleague that he or she feels can be of service to you. No matter what method you choose even if you have to select a new dentist just from the phone book, there are protocols that should be followed to determine if the new choice is the right choice for you.
When you call to make your first appointment, how long do you have to wait for an appointment. If you have an emergency, when is the office willing to see you. Is the time and date of the choice of appointment(s) that are offered convenient for you? Does the receptionist sound friendly or harried and a bit rushed? Unfortunately first impressions count.
If you make an appointment, what does the office appear like? Is it neat and clean or does it appear unclean?
After filling out the appropriate papers including health questionnaire, did the receptionist explain the office policy regarding payment, insurance acceptance etc? How long do you have to wait before seeing the doctor? Once seated in the treatment room, is it clean? How long is it before the doctor enters the operatory? Is the doctor friendly and did he introduce himself to you? Does he review your health history and ask questions? Does he determine if your are here for just an emergency visit or a complete check-up? Does he LISTEN TO WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY? Is the doctor only interested in getting you in and out as quick as possible or does the doctor show concern for your situation? Does the doctor exercise proper precautions before examining you such as hand washing and using other universal precautions? Does the doctor carefully explain your condition in terms that you can understand? Is the cost of treatment made clear to you by either the doctor or a staff member? These are some of the things that a patient must use in determining whether to establish a long term relationship with a new dentist. Does the dentist know wide variety of procedures and treatments like teeth whitening modesto, metal braces installation, tooth extraction and others. This will prove that the dentist has the expertise to perform the job well.
I hope this helpful to all who find themselves in this common situation.