Questions to ask your dentist

Questions To Ask Your Dentist


It is important to have confidence in your dentist's professionalism and a thorough understanding of their treatments and practices. Asking questions and learning more about the practice and their approach will help you select the right dentist. This article aims to help you with the selection process by providing key questions relating to dental care.

What Are Their Qualifications and Experience?

The UK has a strict regulatory policy about enforcing dental standards. Standards are governed by the General Dental Council (GDC) and do not just concern dentists. They also regulate dental nurses, technicians, and hygienists. Dentists should have a Bachelor of Dental Surgery or equivalent qualifications. Often, dentists will study further and be specialists in specific fields. It is also essential for dentists to continue their learning so that they stay up to date with the latest technologies and practices. Ensuring your dentist has adequate qualifications and experience will help alleviate any concerns you might have and result in quality care.

What Services Do They Offer?

Not all dentists offer the same services. Some specialise in unique areas, and others may lack the required expertise. Finding out if a practice meets your oral health needs is important. Knowing the services offered can also give you an understanding of their expertise and capabilities, allowing you to compare which dentist best fits your dental needs. Another advantage of understanding their services is that it will enable you to plan for future dental needs.

Are there any new dental technologies or procedures I should know about?

Being aware of the latest technologies and procedures allows you to make a more informed decision about the procedure you want. Knowledge of alternative options can give you more options and potentially superior treatment. It can also help you narrow down potential practices that only offer these treatments. 

How do you approach patient education?

All dental practices should educate and empower their patients on oral health and strategies to ensure the best dental care. How a dentist approaches this area can help you decide if they suit your needs. Clear communication using non-technical language is crucial, and an open discussion personalised for each individual is crucial.  

How can I prevent tooth decay and cavities?

If you have an appointment with a dentist, you should take advantage of their expertise and ask questions about how to prevent tooth decay. They can provide information tailored to your specific needs, especially after a consultation. Tips that should be provided include how to effectively brush your teeth, general oral care, and lifestyle changes, such as foods to avoid. Any reputable dentist should be willing to provide preventative advice.

Can you provide a breakdown of costs before treatment?

All dentists should be happy to provide you with a breakdown of costs. This will give you transparency and a full understanding of the costs involved. There are several advantages associated with having a breakdown of costs.

These include:

  • If you have private medical insurance, you can better understand what is covered and whether there will be any out-of-pocket costs.
  • You can compare costs more easily when deciding which dental practice to use.
  • There are no shocks, costs are set, and you will clearly understand what treatments you will receive and the associated costs.

Do you accept my insurance? 

Not all private dentists accept dental insurance. If you have medical insurance, it is important to find out what is actually covered. Depending on your insurance type and the treatment required, you may still be out of pocket. In addition, some dentists will provide you with a receipt for work completed, which you will then need to present to your insurance company for reimbursement. 

Do you offer flexible payment plans?

Dental work requires skilled procedures, often carried out with cutting-edge and expensive equipment. Due to the costs involved, dental work can appear to be expensive. However, treatments can often prevent far more expensive work in the future and improve overall health. Many dental practices offer flexible payment options that can help with patients' budgets. Some of the benefits associated with flexible payment methods include:

  • The ability to plan your finances better and to suit your needs.
  • It provides quicker treatment access as the initial outlay will not be so high.
  • The option to have additional dental works completed simultaneously as you can spread the costs.
  • Reduces financial stress and the ability to balance your budget more efficiently.

Conclusion

Selecting the right dentist is an important decision that affects your oral health and overall well-being. By asking some or even all of the questions above, you can help ensure you select a dentist more suited to your needs. Remember, these questions serve as a foundation, and you may have other specific questions depending on your unique dental health concerns and circumstances.
 

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