Dr. Bruce Matthews, DDS

Finding the Right Dentist for You

July 10, 2014
Posted By: Brian Matthews
Dentist Working On Patient

Too many people have had an unfortunate experience with a dentist that has left them with a bad taste in their mouth (pun intended.) To help you avoid this kind of situation in the future, we want to share the qualities to look for before you choose a dentist.

No matter where a dentist gets his or her training, dental school alone is not enough to prepare anyone to be an outstanding dentist. Being a great dentist takes years of practice, hours upon hours of continuing education, and enough sense to listen to and learn from your patients.

Below are some of the most important qualities that you should be looking for before you jump in the dental chair.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The first thing to consider is how much experience the dentist has:

  • How many patients has he or she successfully helped with a problem similar to yours?
  • What kind of results did he or she achieve?
  • Can you be sure that you'll get the same positive experience?

Many people overlook these questions, and although all dentists were rookies at one time, you'll feel a lot more comfortable trusting your oral health to a dentist with lots of experience under his belt.

Expertise and Training Counts, Big Time!

Specialization and expertise are crucial issues to ask your dentist about. No one can be an expert in everything, but you would drive yourself crazy seeing one dentist for your braces, another for cosmetic dental treatments, and yet another for gum disease treatment.

Your time is valuable, so your ideal dentist should be trained to perform a wide spectrum of dental treatments.  Ask your dentist up front what areas he or she specializes in, so that you can be sure you'll get convenient, comprehensive dental care for all of your individual needs.

Your best bet for finding a dentist with real expertise in a number of areas is to look at the types of continuing education he or she has completed.

  • Does the dentist hold any fellowships or special credentials?
  • Are they current with new technologies and treatments?

Dentistry is an ever-changing field, so it's important to choose a professional who stays up-to-date with changes in technology and treatment techniques.

Having “The Talk”

Don’t be sheepish when it comes to asking these questions – dentists are highly-skilled professionals who deserve respect, but they are human. If you don’t feel comfortable enough around them to ask questions about their credentials, then you probably need to find another dentist.

Being a great dentist is not just about providing dental services. It is equally important to find someone who makes you feel comfortable and respected.  Try to find a dentist that doesn't just see you as another set of teeth, but as a valued patient who deserves gentle, personalized care.

Simply put, if someone is going to stick sharp objects in your mouth, you should have a pretty comfortable relationship with them!

Now that you know the qualities to look for, you have the information you need to choose a dentist who meets your needs and can help you achieve a smile that is both healthy and beautiful!  Don’t hesitate to shop around until you've found exactly what you're looking for.

We are always happy to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call our Wilmington dental office for more information!


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