Choosing a Dentist

Word of Mouth
Choosing a Dentist and How to be a Good Patient
Modified from “How to Save Your Teeth and Your Money” –  A consumer’s guide to better less costly Dental Care – Melvin Denholtz
Published by Van Nostrand Reinhold Copany London, Toronto, Melbourne
ISBN 0-442-22080  -4 cloth  -2 paper
Choosing a Dentist
Give your dentist a cross if he/she does not:
(if score 6 or more crosses, consider changing dentists)
•       Run an efficient office with pleasant long serving staff
•       Drape you with a lead apron when taking an X-ray
•       Dentist and nurse wear gloves, mask and protective glasses
•       You are required to wear protective eye glasses
•       Stress the importance of diet flossing and fluoride.
•       Insist on radiographs ever 2 or 3 years
•       Constantly check your bite
•       Constantly refer to your x-rays
•       Check for food packing or overhanging fillings that deter flossing and suggest replacement where food packing or overhanging fillings.
•       Suggest the interceptive removal of impacted wisdom teeth
•       Discuss treatment choices, their costs and the advantages and any downside.
•       Ask you about your dental and medical history plus your history of accidents – sporting and motor vehicle.
•       Speak about you saving your teeth rather than having dentures.
•       Suggest you have missing teeth replaced with implants in preference to bridges.
•       See dentures as an undesirable destination
•       Have the home phone number listed in White Pages.
•       Your dentist charges unusually high or unusually low fees (1/2 point)
•       Your dentist is a member of the ADA or in that country where they practice.
•       Your dentist does not use a gimmick (financial or dental) to attract patients.
•       Your dentist is opposed to advertising because it is not in the patients’ interests, albeit beneficial to dentists.
How to be a good dental patient
•       Keep your appointments or give one working day notice for cancellations.
•       Pay your account on time or upon commencement of major treatment.
•       If you cannot keep your appointment, send a needy friend.
•       Follow the advice offered. Don’t argue.
•       Don’t refuse radiographs.
•       Floss your teeth before your appointment.
•       Avoid garlic or alcohol before the appointment.
•       Never arrive late.
•       Never book an event immediately after an appointment.
•       Don’t arrive with more than 2 other humans at a time.
•       Don’t bag the last dentist.
•       Don’t ask for a falsified account.
•       Don’t smother the face in lipstick, perfume or aftershave or make-up.
•       Participate in the free (expensive) recall program
•       Have major dentistry in the mornings not at weary day’s end
•       Offer thanks and gratitude for the effort of the dentist and his staff
•       Reverse the 3/11 rule. ( If the dentist satisfies a patient, the patient will tell 3 people, but if the patient is not cared for, they will tell 11 people.
•       Turn off the mobile phone before hopping in the chair.
•       Don’t wear your very best clothes.
•       Always have a normal meal prior to your appointment.
•       Place quality, honesty and integrity of the dentist before cost.
•       Always take the best option and if you cannot afford it now, ask for the best holding pattern until you can afford it. Remember cheap dentistry is the most expensive!
•       Be prepared to borrow money to fund urgent requirements rather than say “just pull it out, mate”
•       If the dentist is more concerned about your teeth than you are, reconsider your own attitude and priorities.