With 36% of people suffering from dental fear, finding a great family dentist makes all the difference.
That’s easier said than done though. Many people end up moving to another dentist because their anxiety isn’t any better or even because they can’t afford the payments. Some people wonder if there’s better out there or if they should stick where they are.
If you’re wondering if you’ve found a good family dentist or if there’s better out there, you can look for these signs. If these sound like your dentist, you have a great one.
1. They’re Patient
Patience is a key quality of a dentist that makes all of the difference to their customers’ experiences. With so many people suffering from anxiety, it’s important that the person administering their dental care is kind and calm.
Rushing people through the chair can increase anxiety and any good dentist is aware of just how intimidating these appointments can be.
2. The Office Is Calming
The office itself should provide a relaxing and calming environment. Although it might be unrealistic to expect any dentist’s office to dispel a deep-seated fear of the dentist’s chair itself, it shouldn’t make that anxiety notably worse.
There should also be some things for kids to do. Kids’ dental anxiety can be worse than adults and providing things to keep them distracted is key. This might include a television or some toys for them to play around with, distracting them from the impending appointment.
The office should also be clean and follow standard safety procedures.
If an office makes you feel worse because it’s cluttered or there’s nothing to do but stare at the wall, it might be a sign that you need to find other family dentist options.
3. The Front Desk Staff Are Welcoming
It’s not just about the dentist themselves, but the front desk staff.
When you walk in, you should feel welcome there. You should never feel like it’s an inconvenience that you’ve shown up!
Since the front desk staff are the first faces you see, they should be able to strike a balance between warm and professional that makes you feel like this isn’t the worst place in the world to be. They should be helpful and comforting when it comes to taking your information and booking appointments.
The last thing you need at the dentist is more stress.
4. They Have Payment Options
74 million Americans have no dental insurance. That’s a huge deterrent for going, as they may end up with a bill they can’t afford.
A good family dentist should offer different methods of payment so you can take of your oral health even if you don’t have insurance. They can do this by offering payment plans and being upfront about pricing so you can make informed decisions.
If you do have dental insurance, you should also make sure your family dentist takes it, as not every dentist will be in the network of your insurance.
5. They’re Non-Judgmental
One reason people often have a fear of the dentist is that they’re worried about being judged. Life happens, and they may not have gone to the dentist in a number of years, creating problems with their oral health.
Any good dentist will not judge you for this. They should be understanding and considerate rather than saying anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or guilty.
They’re there to fix the issues at hand and teach you how to keep up with your health without patronizing you or making you feel worse about how long it’s been without an appointment.
If you’ve found a family dentist that you feel you can be honest with, that’s huge.
6. They Explain Things
Fear of the unknown is another huge cause of dental anxiety. If you know very little about procedures, you might imagine them to be painful and unpleasant to endure.
One sign of a great family dentist is someone who’s willing to explain things to you before they start the procedure and even as they’re going. If there are different options for treatment, they should also be willing to talk you through those and give you the pros and cons of each one. They may also make a recommendation of what you should go with.
You should also feel comfortable asking your dentist questions about the procedures without feeling like you’re annoying them. If you’re happy to ask your dentist a lot of questions, you have a good one.
7. They Follow Up
A good family dentist will also make sure to follow up after a procedure. They may schedule a check-up a month or so afterward or they may ask at your next appointment about how things went — a sign they remember you or that they’re checking your records. Either way, it’s a good sign that they care.
There’s nothing worse than appointments feeling disjointed or like you have to keep having repeat conversations. A good family dentist will stay up to date.
These Are the Signs of a Great Family Dentist
It can be difficult to know if you’ve found a good family dentist or if you might be better off elsewhere. The grass is always greener on the other side, after all.
If you have a dentist who’s patient, calm, and explains things well, then you should stay where you are. If your dentist seems impatient and only heightens your anxiety, then it might be time to look into another.
If you’re looking for a new family dentist in Greensboro, NC, contact us today. We can provide all the services and support you need and welcome new patients!