Visit to a dentist is a necessity either today or in the near future. Moreover it is hard to estimate how big a fortune your next visit will cost you, as fees vary from practice to practice and extent of damage done to the teeth. The most commonly given manipulative answer is that not all dentists are similar in their work and of course this dentist is one of the best in the area using advanced technologies, is a line heard often by patients when they go for their dental problems or routine check up.
But the question worth pondering upon is how can someone who does not have any idea about the profession and work know if their dentist is worth the fees stated. If you are looking for a new dentist, a verbal reference is a good way to start with. In general, regardless of the profession and the extent of clinical risk the person always wants a dentist who listens to them, has a warm affectionate and friendly attitude, explains variety of treatment options and procedures and instills faith and positive attitude toward the treatment. Thus it is a two-way relationship wherein patient satisfaction depends on the quality of the doctor-patient relationship.
1. Rely on verbal evidence: you should take opinion/referrals from friends, family, and neighbors who have visited the dental office. By word of mouth dentists fundamental nature of knowledge can be pre understood before visiting the dental office yourself. An insight into the office, the people in there catering your needs, the sterilization protocol followed for their instruments and about the variety of services offered can be estimated.
2. Justness of comparison: you may feel that a particular dentist might be a bit expensive than the other ones in the area. It is fair to demand the dentist to explain the differences in the fees. The difference in price may be attributed to different materials of the crown, exclusive restorative materials, treatment by a specialist and laboratories charges. The most important factor standing is the expertise of the treating doctor.
3. Don’t solely rely on the price: it is majorly the doctor patient relationship – not only the treatment but a emotional component added to the treatment of the patient. A successful treatment is the one wherein you can build trust in your doctor and be satisfied of his treatment plan offered to you.
4. Longevity of the work: it is a very important aspect of the treatment if the dentist stands behind their work in present as well as future. With the treatment options the dentists usually mentions about the shelf life of the material used for the restoration/ replacement. The restoration and the shelf life should be comparable to the price offered on the treatment.
5. Cross questioning: there is nothing wrong in questioning the dentist regarding the need of the treatment. If the need is justified it cuts out on the dissatisfaction of the cost of the treatment.
6. Prevention is the mainstay: as the famous quote goes “prevention is better than cure” brush, floss and fluoride rinse can prevent a lot of problems at the initial stage and can intervent the progression of the disease incurring less cost.
7. Work ethics: how is the team of doctors and assistants who are working holds a keyplace in your decision making. Post operative care taken by the dentist is an integral part of the treatment. All queries should be duly answered and the treatment protocol as stated should be followed honestly.
8. Dentist’s expertise: there are nine specialities in dentistry. Each dentist is the master of his own work so it is better to be treated by a specialist rather than a general dentist. A specialist has more valid knowledge about his field as compared to other counterpart dentists. Therefore the dentists knowledge and experience in his respective field adds value to the treatment.
Thus the way to analyze the overall ability of the dentist and the services offered is to compare the variety care and quality of services offered, successful post treatment results of patient, expertise of the dentist and most importantly experience of the dentist, rather than the solely trusting the reliability of the price. Quality, care and money should go hand in hand in choosing the dentist of your choice.
– Dr. Khyati kaushal