Tips On Finding A Suitable Dental Clinic For Your Needs

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Many people (including you, perhaps) are not exactly thrilled to go visit the dentist. But regardless of your enthusiasm levels, having a reliable dental clinic is still a must. After all, when it comes to priorities, oral health is right there at the top. According to studies, poor oral health is linked to other conditions such as heart diseases, diabetes, etc. Various serious diseases like HIV/AIDS exhibit oral symptoms. Bacteria from infections such as gingivitis can enter your bloodstream and cause more complications. Poor oral hygiene can also affect your social and career life; you don’t like someone staying away from you because of your bad breath, do you? Do you want to lose your job because you couldn’t go to work due to a chronic toothache? FInding a dental clinic for you (and your family, if applicable) may seem like a daunting task. 

It must satisfy several conditions such as personal needs, lifestyle, socioeconomic situation, physical and virtual accessibility, etc. For example, if you just moved to a new place because of work or school, regular visits to your old dentist miles away is impractical. Or if you have a job that has erratic working hours, you need a clinic that can accommodate your schedule. So, how do you find a dental clinic that fits your needs?

Does It Matter Which Dental Clinic I Go To?

Of course, it does! As mentioned, your choice of a clinic depends on several factors. Not meeting these conditions may put your oral health at risk. Not to mention that it can give you unpleasant experience and unnecessary stress. Your relationship with your dentist is a personal one. Dental care is a one-on-one affair, so a level of trust and comfort is required. So you cannot just go to any clinic; it should be THE clinic for you and your family. It is like buying a house – it must be something you can call your own. In general, this is what you should look for:

  • Reputation
  • Quality of services
  • Accessibility and budget

What To Look For

It’s time to sit down and do some research. If things go as planned, your new dental clinic will surely leave a smile on your face every visit.

Reputation

How long has the clinic been in service?  Do a quick online search of the dental clinics in your area. Check the clinics one by one. What’s the first thing you look for? The date of establishment. Like with most institutions, longevity is synonymous with reputation. A clinic that has been in service for a long time means it has earned enough credibility. Otherwise, it may not last that long. What is the reputation of the dentist?  Dental clinic brochures or websites will always give you the name of the dentists. 

woman brushing her teeth

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Check the educational background and professional experience. You can also check the state dental board for official verification. Remember: your dentist wields delicate equipment inside your mouth. So trustworthiness is non-negotiable. What do other people say about the clinic and the dentist? In dental clinic marketing, a word of mouth (pun unintended) often works. Ask your friends, family or anyone you know about a certain clinic. You can also ask for referrals from coworkers or even your old dentist.

What do they say about it? Obviously, they won’t recommend if it is a bad one so take their word for it. Is the clinic a member of any dental association? ADA. ADHA. AAO. These and other associations give credibility and legitimacy to any dental clinic. If the clinic is a member, then you can rest easy it is worth your trust. Plus, memberships make the clinic accountable for any issue you might raise.

Quality Of Services

What are the services being offered? Do they offer the usual cleaning, root canal, and extracting operations? Do they also offer orthodontics services in case you need braces or mouth guards? Check their websites or brochures; better yet, ask the receptionist directly for information. Don’t forget that they should offer what you need. Do they have state-of-the-art equipment and facilities? The world of medicine – dentistry included – is evolving by leaps and bounds regularly. So make sure the clinic uses the latest equipment for maximum results. 

dentist checking teeth

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For example, digital x-rays are now popular because they reduce the risks of exposure to x-ray radiation. The technology also applies to the facilities. Do they have a computerized database? Is the clinic clean, well-maintained and patient-friendly? Take note of these factors when checking potential dental clinics. Is the dentist and staff friendly and efficient? Usual complaints about dental clinics are that the staff are often rude, unhelpful, inept, or unprofessional. 

For example, digital x-rays are now popular because they reduce the risks of exposure to x-ray radiation. The technology also applies to the facilities. Do they have a computerized database? Is the clinic clean, well-maintained and patient-friendly? Take note of these factors when checking potential dental clinics. Is the dentist and staff friendly and efficient? Usual complaints about dental clinics are that the staff are often rude, unhelpful, inept, or unprofessional. 

child in the dentist

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There are dentists who can be intimidating (which explains the stigma attached to dental clinics). As mentioned, dental care is a personalized service and experience, so you must also consider your emotional well-being. So choose one with excellent customer service. How is the after-service care? We know that dental visits are something you must take full responsibility for. But if the staff or dentist is mindful enough to remind you about your next visit, that’s good. 

And if they remember you on your next session, then even better! Do the staff and dentists get constant training and education? If you’ve look around dental clinics, you’ll often see certificates framed or hung on the wall. These are proof of attendance in dental conferences, exchange programs, public events, etc. If the clinic has these, then it is a plus point. As part of the medical profession, dentistry is continuously evolving. Discoveries, and new techniques and technologies happen all the time. So it is important that the dentists and staff spend time and effort knowing these.

Accessibility And Budget

Do they have online booking facility? In this digital age, every dental clinic must have a website or social media page. This way, they can post their information such as services offered and contact information. The last one is important. If the clinic can accept booking online, that’s another plus. You can easily set your appointment to fit your and the dentist’s schedule. 

Appointment cancellation or rebooking must also be available. Is the clinic easily accessible? Do you have to drive twenty miles just to have a tooth extracted? Do you need to weave through a maze of outlets in the mall just to find your clinic? Accessibility is also a factor. You must be able to get to the clinic easily and quickly. Most dental clinics (especially those used by HMOs) are located in malls or other commercial centers. 

dental light

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Private or family-owned clinics have their own offices. Whatever the case may be, the clinic must be physically accessible. Are the dental packages affordable? You are lucky if the company you work for has a dental plan. But if you are a freelancer or a small entrepreneur, the case is different. Unless you have dental insurance, you must find and pay for your own dental care – and it can be costly. This is why dental packages must be considered. 

Every dental clinic offers fixed rates for certain services, but some them offer them in packages. Others offer per-session rates, while others do it by packaged visits. Whatever you choose, make sure the cost will not hurt your pocket (a toothache is painful already). Is the clinic partnered with a sponsor or other agencies? Brand sponsorships and agency partnerships are sometimes important. If for example, the clinic has teamed up with a toothpaste brand, chances are it may offer lower rates or promotions.

Finding The Right Dental Clinic

Based on the aforementioned standards, the right dental clinic for you is the one that satisfies most if not all of these criteria. Let’s say you have done your research and have all the relevant information. Here’s what you’re going to do next:​​​

  • 1
    Narrow down your list into three or five best clinics
  • 2
    Set an appointment with the first clinic
  • 3
    For your next dental need, go to the next one
  • 4
    Do the same steps until you reach the last clinic
  • 5
    Compare results

The idea is to gauge the overall experience of each clinic. Again, dental care is a personal experience, so not only do you need to grade the services, rates, etc., but also the emotional benefits you get from each visit.

Did they treat you and your family well? Did you feel anxious or relaxed? Did you feel like going back there again for the next session? Based on these, re-rank your clinics. Then the top one will be the right dental clinic for you. One more thing: keep the list. Why? Just in case (for whatever reasons) you can’t go to your chosen clinic, then you have another one as “emergency reserve.”

Conclusion

female teeth being checked by male dentist clinic

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Finding the right dental clinic for you may take some time and effort to do. But remember, it is your oral health on the line so do this seriously. In the end, finding the one clinic for your is definitely one reason to smile.