No one likes to go to the dentist. Why? Usually fear of pain, or that the dentist will be mean. Is this a natural part of dental treatment? Can’t a visit to your dentist be more like visiting an old friend? It can and what’s more, it should.
All you have to do is pick the right dentist. How does one do that? There are a few things to look for, and a few qualities that are absolutely critical.
Many patients who do not go regularly to the dentist report fear of being scolded by the dentist, or that the dentist will react indifferently when the patient is in pain. This is why it is important to pick a dentist who is compassionate, who can empathise, and who treats the situation with care; helping instead of scolding. The entire process can be much more pleasant if we feel comfortable at the dentist, perhaps even chat or share a joke, which can reduce stress in an otherwise quite stressful situation. This type of attitude towards the dentist-patient relationship is what can lead to trust, which is one of the most important, if not the most important thing in a clinical scenario.
There are many branches of dentistry, and it is important that when we pick a dentist to do a particular task, we pick one who is good in the particular field needed. If you want to be absolutely sure, you can ask for references, but most dentists today have websites, where you can see their work and check their qualifications. The best reference though is someone you know, a friend or relative who has seen a particular doctor and had a good experience.
Does dentistry hurt? Not necessarily. Dental technology is quite advanced, there are many ways to dull, or even completely banish pain. If nothing else, the patient can be unconscious for the duration of the treatment, but dentists usually do not like this to be the case, and ti is rarely medically necessary. Most surgeries and procedures can be done with the use of only local anaesthetic. It is important to note though that local anaesthetic means you cannot feel the area at all, not that it is a little numb, or that you can feel less pain. When properly administered, anaesthetic shuts off the nerves completely, and the patient should not feel anything of the procedure at all. This is why most clinics will mention that they are pain free in their advertising. Public health institutions also sue local anaesthetic, but frequently it will be less effective, as fewer resources are allotted per patient. This does not mean that pain free dental treatment is only the right of the very rich. Most private clinics are happy to have patients pay in instalments, so we do not have to endure pain just because we cannot pay for a dental treatment up front.
It is also smart to find a dentist who lives near you. If you live in the countryside and do not have a dentist in your town, look for the nearest one in a nearby city or larger town, it is no good to have to travel hours to see a dentist when one is in a lot of pain, it is extremely unpleasant and potentially dangerous as the tooth can distract the driver, and gas fare may make an unsolicited dent in the wallet as well, especially if the treatment requires more than one visit.
It is also important to find a dentistry that is open as many days of the week as possible, and who sees walk ins, or who can see patients after registering over the phone or online. Many dentistries reserve slots for emergency patients, check if any of the ones near you have this option.
Price will always play a major role in which dentist a patient decides to go with. Private dental clinics are more expensive, but in the long run, it may end up costing you less to go with a private dentist. Private dentistries usually work with better materials, so the end result will also tend to be better. No to mention the nicer facilities, modern technology and treatment plans tailored to the patient’s budget. Dentists know that a more serious course of dental treatment can cost a lot of money, so there are more payment types and different payment systems that clinics use. You should always ask the dental clinic what kind of payment options one has, or if the there are any deals or discounts.
Always take your time when deciding which clinics to go with for the long run, and later on you are not satisfied, do not hesitate to take your business elsewhere.
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