How to choose a good dentist - 5 important points
11th February 2024
More and more people are searching for private dentists these days. Whether it is because you cannot access NHS dental… read more
More and more people are searching for private dentists these days.
Whether it is because you cannot access NHS dental care, or because you want a treatment such as tooth whitening or clear aligners not available as an NHS patient, here are five important considerations to help you choose a good dentist?
Whatever your reason for registering with a private dentist, here are five important considerations to help you choose a good dental practice.
Before you register, it’s worth taking a little time to do some research, and ask the right questions. After all, you want to choose a dental practice you can trust to care for the whole family’s dental health over many years to come.
Our top tip is to find a dentist in a convenient location. The practice you choose must be one that you can attend regularly. It’s worth thinking about how far you’re prepared to travel from either work or home. Also consider the time when you’re most likely to want to make appointments. Will it be with the children on Saturday mornings? After work in the evenings? During your lunch-break or on your afternoon off?
Thinking about time and place is a good way to limit your search so that you’re investigating practices that are a practical option for you. After all, choosing a dental practice which is easy and convenient for you will make attending regular check-ups easier and help you arrive on time. Once you’ve narrowed down an area, then check websites for opening times, public transport links, convenient car parking and accessibility.
Remember, too, that there may be a time when you need to access urgent dental care out of regular opening hours. It’s worth checking what arrangements are in place for urgent treatment or emergency appointments.
Once you’ve made the decision to go private, you’ll want to consider different ways of paying for your treatment. Most practices these days offer a range of methods that can be tailored to meet a patient’s specific needs:
If you can’t find the information you need on-line, it’s worth calling the practices you’re interested in joining and asking more. Good dentists will always be transparent about fees, and provide a treatment plan that includes costing so there are no surprises.
Although many patients are looking for a good general dentist, some are also interested in specific treatments. Perhaps you are having trouble with sore gums? You’re considering dental implants? Or you’d like a brighter smile and straighter teeth? Most dental practices these days offer a wide range of treatments including cosmetic dental procedures and facial aesthetics. A good dentist will prioritise your oral health and suggest a treatment plan to help you achieve or maintain a healthy mouth.
These days dental practices share clear information, news and tips on their websites – all good signs that your dental practice is keen to attract and keep new patients.
Another point to consider when choosing a dental practice is emergency dental treatment. Dental emergencies do happen, so it’s important to understand the emergency dental services offered by your dental practice, whether it’s during normal practice hours, evenings or weekends.
Visits to your dental practice will be more pleasant if you’re welcomed by helpful, friendly staff. Local dental practices are not usually in purpose built buildings, but they should always be clean, tidy and well-organised. Your dentist should always be professional, approachable and sympathetic. Moreover, you should feel comfortable asking questions about all aspects of your care and treatment, including the cost. It’s important the clinicians take time to explain, and patients feel unhurried.
If you are a nervous patient, then let the staff know that. You won’t be the only one!
Dental practices also have different policies and procedures that they follow. You may check whether they send courtesy reminders to patients before appointments, and what the cancellation policy is.
All dentists, dental hygienists, therapists, nurses and technicians must be registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) to work in the UK. The GDC is the body which regulates dental professionals in the UK. You can use the GDC website to check your dentist is registered, and see their qualifications. Dentists who qualified overseas are obliged to provide equivalency, or sit an examination, to register with the GDC. The GDC also provides a useful checklist of the standards you can expect from your dentist.
While all dental clinicians register as individuals with the GDC, the dental practice itself registers with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care services in the UK. It provides advice and guidance, as well as publishing inspection reports.
Checking both the GDC and CQC websites can help you understand the standards of care and treatment to expect when choosing a dentist and dental practice.
Most dental patients stay with their dentist for many years. Therefore, you’ll want to find a dentist that offers excellent service. It’s important to take time to choose a dentist who makes you feel comfortable and relaxed, as well as providing the expert dental care your teeth, mouth and gums need.
Find out more by exploring our website, find your nearest practice today, and use our online ‘contact us’ form to ask about vacancies.
A Pleasant Experience @ Spa Dental Glastonbury "Friendly staff. This was my first visit to this dental practice and found the staff very friendly and reassuring. I had an initial assessment by the therapist who did an assessment prior to my next appointment. He was very good and explained carefully the treatment I needed in a professional manner! Overall I was impressed by the whole experience." "I went in today for a tooth extraction, my…More Testimonials
"Better than you could ever imagine - As always everyone involved with Spadental treats you with respect and dignity. Happy to have a friendly chat and always seem genuinely interested. I always leave the practice feeling happy- which might seem strange after just having dental treatment but that's the affect all the team always seem to have on me. Arranged a follow up appointment the very next day, as a cancellation had just come in.…More Testimonials
"Lovely staff - I have been with you for 17 years and I am still coming to you. Every one is so helpful and always talks to you." LE Thank you for your reviews The staff at SpaDental Chard feel proud to read your reviews. Your lovely comments, and your good opinion mean a lot to us. We appreciate the time and thought you put into writing about how your visit to the dentist went.…More Testimonials
It hasn't been an easy year, but our patients have been so understanding. Thank you all so very much for your kind support and the lovely feedback we've received. Your kind support is very motivating It means a lot to the SpaDental Chard team to read your feedback. Your feedback is important to us as it helps us work on continual improvement of our services. Our sincere thanks to all of you have taken the…More Testimonials
We've been catching up with our patients to find out how their treatment has been over the last months. This has been such a hard year for many of us, personally and professionally, and access to dental care has been affected in many ways by the pandemic. We'd really like to take this opportunity, therefore, to thank you for your understanding. We know that you have had to cope with cancellations and changes to our…More Testimonials
With the ups and downs of the last year, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of our patients for your support and understanding. Your thoughtfulness is reflected in the considerate comments we've received in response to our request for feedback. We truly appreciate your kind thoughts. Thank you from all of us for your lovely reviews of SpaDental Tewkesbury. A selection of your reviews: "The service during the last few months has…More Testimonials
SpaDental Whitchurch dentist is accepting new private patients. A new patient testimonial After the closure of my local dentist in Whitchurch I telephoned Spa Dental who made me an appointment. Unfortunately I had an abscess on my tooth before my appointment date, for which I was given an emergency appointment. I am a very nervous patient and it took a long time to build confidence with my old dentist , therefore my nerves were bad and I…More Testimonials
Kind words from our patients mean a lot to us. Thank you! We're very happy to read reviews that commend the Plymouth team and the dentists "excellent care" and "professional service". Recent patient reviews commend our excellent care: "In safe and caring hands - Without exception the treatment I have received has been outstanding. From the reception staff through each of the individuals involved, their focus is on you and you're fully involved in any…More Testimonials
We very much enjoyed reading the lovely Saltash patient reviews we've received in response to our recent request for feedback. On behalf of all the staff, thank you so much for your lovely comments. We sincerely appreciate your kind words, and will also use your recommendations in our planning. SpaDental considers your review comments carefully. We read them all, and use the information we gather to guide our practice so we can keep on improving…More Testimonials
A very appreciative thank you to our patients from the clinicians and staff at SpaDental Chard. It has been a pleasure reading your comments because if our patients are happy, then we're happy. Feedback about the team and treatment from SpaDental Chard reviews "Everyone in the practice is efficient, professional and knowledgeable." - HCG "5 Star Dental Care - Being in the centre of Chard, [the SpaDental] surgery is easily accessible for most patients. The…More Testimonials
23 February, 2024
All appointments at the Plymouth and Saltash practices are postponed due the transportation of a WWII unexploded bomb through the city.
Your practice will be in contact to rearrange your appointment.