Whether you have recently moved to Canberra or simply need a change, choosing the right dentist involves more than just scanning through online reviews of the local dental establishments.
Finding the right Canberra dentist to serve your dental needs and/or those of your family members takes some time and effort. However, once you make the right decision, connecting with a reliable and friendly practitioner, the benefits will last for years to come.
Before choosing a new Canberra dentist, it helps to know what you want, based on your specific needs and situation. For example, are you looking for a dentist for yourself or the whole family? Not all practices are set up to be family or kid-friendly so their treatment services may vary along those lines.
For the whole family
A Canberra practice that caters to the whole family typically offers children’s dentistry, orthodontic braces for teens (and adults), cosmetic treatments for adults, dentures for seniors and preventive services for the whole family. In short, they run the gamut of services that sees a family through the different stages of their dental development.
If you have kids or someone with anxiety issues in your family, your dentist should be someone who can offer assistance in those areas. For example, do they offer sedation services such as sleep dentistry, IV sedation or laughing gas? Is the waiting area or surgery environment designed and built with anxious patients in mind?
It also helps if the dentist offers more current treatments that often fall outside the purview of general dentistry, such as sleep apnoea dental therapy, or bruxism treatment for those who grind and clench their teeth in their sleep. These are, after all, ailments that afflict a growing proportion of the Australian adult population.
Finally, if you have infants, toddlers or sporty teenagers in your family, you would also want to stick to a dentist that provides after-hours emergency services. You don’t want to be stuck with a wailing child or a teen with a sporting injury without a reliable emergency dentist you can trust on standby mode. You never know when you’re going to need one.
A bit of research goes a long way
Whether you’re single or a parent of a large family, you would be looking for a reliable Canberra dentist known for his/her clinical calibre and great personality. If you’re looking for a child-friendly dentist, then obviously it’s important to know how they are around kids.
One of the easiest ways to narrow your search when it comes to the dentist’s reputation, or lack thereof, is to ask around. If you are looking for a dentist to take care the oral care needs of your whole family, ask someone whose profile or situation is similar to yours.
You don’t have to limit yourself though. Anyone in your social circle can potentially offer some valuable insights on the local dental scene, even if they may not be using the services themselves. Although you are essentially looking for a positive recommendation, you may also benefit from cautionary tales – basically, knowing which establishments to avoid.
You can also consult independent online recommendation sites like ours. Alternatively, you may want to seek out a dental association website which may be able to match you with a local dentist based on your specifications.
Once you have narrowed the field, do your own research – in person – by visiting the establishment. Here you’ll need to tick off your own checklist: Do you get a good vibe when you walk into the clinic? Is it clean? Are the staff members friendly and welcoming? Do they accept your health fund? Do they have special amenities for kids?
Finally, how do you personally find the dentist? Did he or she leave a good impression on you and the kids? In this regard, nobody knows it better than you. Everyone is different and reacts differently to different personality types – hard and fast rules simply do not apply.
One of the best litmus tests to gauge your satisfaction level is this: Did you leave the dental clinic happier than when you stepped in? If you find yourself smiling on your way out, congratulations, you may have just found the right one.