We are often asked how does one choose a dentist? Yes, there’s the obvious: preparation, technology, customer service… But it’s so much more than that.
We live in a rush, rush society. We all go to service providers. The ones that stick out for the best are those that go above and beyond in customer service, amenities, attention to detail, warmth. The one’s that leave a sour taste in our mouth, but that we keep going back to in many cases—(especially if they are our doctors), are the ones that: barely look up at you,( if at all) when you walk into their practice. The ones that schedule a patient every 5 minutes, so you are guaranteed to never be seen on time. They don’t remember your name, your problem. They are not intuitive about your needs. They don’t pass on information amongst each other so you end up repeating yourself. I could go on and on. But I won’t. You get the picture.
For some, this is the norm. But should it be? Should we be so complacent when it comes to how we are treated? And do all the bells and whistles mean you have a “prepared” provider of service?
Being a patient as well as a provider, I say yes. Emphatically! To me, the team is the reflection of the standards of the doctor. If they are friendly and knowledgeable, it means they are invested in their own well being as well as that of the practice and most important—you, the patient.
If the practice looks modern, and clean from the reception area to the treatment rooms, then you know the doctor is staying current not just in her education, but in culture and life as well. Her team supports that, they probably stay up to date with their education and within their fields as well. Others may tell you it’s all about the dentist and how many diplomas’ he or she has; his/her advertising mediums; what services other than traditional dentistry are offered, etc. These factors are obviously important, but at the end of the day, we as patients don’t necessarily remember what school the doctor graduated from. We remember how we felt, both emotionally and with the treatment sought.
So, how do you select a dentist or other provider? Talk to your friends whom are happy with their dentist. Look in your local magazines to see if they are advertising, or featured. Interview them by phone and go in for a “meet and greet”. Many offices give you a tour of their facilities. Ask them about their education, experience, examples of the work they do that you need. Hopefully if all these things line up you will end up in a long lasting, fulfilling, healthy patient doctor relationship.