The choice of a good dentist and dentistry is an important issue both for those who just want to be engaged in prevention, and for those who need the help of a specialist in solving specific problems. Marina Kolesnichenko – dentist-therapist and chief physician of Beauty Line – tells how to determine how good a dentist and clinic are.
Choosing a good dentist: 4 stages
Who should be entrusted with dental treatment? We can choose a good dentist and right one in 4 stages:
- Check out the reviews. Look for them not on the website of the clinic where you want to go, but on specialized portals: the probability of finding real reviews there is much higher. But comments can still be bought, so don’t limit yourself to positive reviews.
- Find out the experience and qualifications of a specialist. Explore certificates, continuing education diplomas, and course completion certificates. If a doctor attends seminars every 1-2 years and masters new courses, then such a specialist should be entrusted with dental treatment. You can find information on the clinic’s website.
- Get a consultation. During the consultation, evaluate the appearance, cleanliness and equipment of the clinic, how polite and pleasant the specialists are. The dentist must tell in detail about the condition of the teeth, answer the questions that have arisen. If the clinic is forced to wait 1-2 hours, the dentist cannot formulate an understandable answer to the questions, and the premises are unpleasant and uncomfortable, they are unlikely to offer good treatment here.
- Review your treatment plan. A doctor should not impose procedures or expensive materials on you. You can use the Internet to check the treatment plan, but only highly specialized sites. Or you run the risk of finding incorrect information and unfairly unleashing a flurry of criticism on the dentist.
Good clinics provide a guarantee for services, but do not trust doctors who promise a guarantee for 10-15 years. The life of dental restorations also depends on the patient, dental care and regular visits to a specialist.
All dentistry is divided into three segments: economy, business, premium. Each of them has an average price for all services. For example, the cost of installing veneers in business-class clinics is 10-20% higher than the average price. By examining the cost of services in different clinics, you can immediately identify overpriced dentistry.
Take as an example one of the most popular services among patients – the installation of a light-cured filling. In economic dentistry, such a procedure costs in the range of 1,500-4,000 rubles. But in business-category clinics – 4,000-7,000 rubles and in the premium segment – from 7,000 rubles. If in economy class dentistry you see the price of 6,500 rubles for such a service, you run the risk of overpaying for less quality treatment.
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It is important to understand: the cost of treatment is determined by the qualifications of the doctor, the methods and materials used for treatment. A high price can be only in those clinics that use innovative technologies, high-quality or exclusive materials, and have a staff of highly qualified doctors. This is why you should avoid economy-segment clinics that charge the same prices as business-class dentistry: not only will you overpay for the service, you will most likely still have to treat your tooth again.
Look at the premises
You have come to dentistry. First of all, take a closer look at the building or room that it occupies. It should be clean and well-maintained. There may not be designer furniture inside, but the furnishings are necessarily comfortable for patients. Avoid clinics in semi-basements and basements, with no windows, no waiting area.
It is worth paying attention to the organization of the reception: strict adherence to the appointed time, clear maintenance of financial documents, and awareness of administrators. A clinic where no one knows where the doctor has gone from the office and when he will return, where money is deposited not in the cashier, but in the pockets of employees without issuing checks, where you can sit for an hour, or even two, will hardly provide you with quality treatment.
If you find at least one of these signs, it is better to leave such a “medical” institution and go to another dentistry.
Listen carefully to your doctor, study your treatment plan
Now you have already come to the appointment. Here it is important to pay attention to the diagnostic process: the doctor must clearly and explain to you how and why he made the diagnosis. For a visual demonstration, there are intraoral video cameras – with their help, a good dentist will show which teeth need treatment and why.
After the diagnosis, the doctor draws up and agrees with you on a treatment plan. The doctor is obliged to take into account your needs and possibilities, including financial ones. It is unacceptable to impose procedures or expensive materials. You can immediately say that you are counting on not too expensive treatment, and the doctor will take into account your wishes.
Knowing the treatment plan is also necessary if you have to talk to a doctor for a long time. For example, you need to install an implant or you intend to treat several teeth. It is the treatment plan that guarantees that the invoice does not include procedures that you did not perform.
Evaluate the proposed treatment methods
So, you have chosen a good dentist and he has drawn up a treatment plan. Now we need to move on to the process. If you have chosen a business-class or premium-segment clinic, doctors there will use the latest technologies and methods: 3 D scanner, laser, microscope. All this increases the comfort for the patient, but what is much more important is the effectiveness of treatment, durability and reliability of the achieved result.
But if you do not want to treat, for example, canals under a microscope, because it is more expensive, the doctor is obliged to offer you a traditional method. It is unacceptable to refuse help just because you prefer classical methods and lower costs. A good doctor is always ready to consider all treatment options and choose the one that is right for you.
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You must be informed of any changes
Sometimes the planned treatment has to be changed. For example, after cleaning a cavity, the dentist discovered that a nerve was damaged. In this case, the doctor will always tell you right away and why the treatment plan is changing. It is unacceptable behavior for a doctor to notify the patient about additional procedures after they have been carried out, or even when the patient sees the bill.
Any changes in the treatment plan – even the smallest ones – are always coordinated with you.
You must be given a guarantee
For any services rendered, the clinic must give a guarantee, the period of which varies from 2-3 years to lifetime. Check in advance what kind of guarantee dentistry provides in your case. If the doctor refuses to do this, you already know what to do – change the specialist and the clinic.
The doctor gives a guarantee for fillings for an average of 1-2 years, when using premium materials – at least six years. The warranty period is determined in the same way in all other cases: the higher the class of the clinic, the longer the warranty period. For crowns it is 7-10 years, for veneers – 10-15 years, for removable dentures – at least five years. A number of manufacturers give a guarantee for implants up to 30 years.