Taking care of your teeth is an important part of your overall health. While achieving the best oral hygiene starts at home with proper brushing and flossing, a dentist is also a crucial figure in maintaining dental health.
Just as your doctor or general practitioner shoulders some of the responsibility of caring for your physical health, your dentist shoulders some responsibility for the health of your teeth and gums. As such, choosing a dentist should focus on a number of factors including location, cost, rapport, and qualifications.
Ideally, your dentist will operate close to your work or home. You should be able to easily access your dentist when it comes to scheduling routine visits but also for emergency care.
If you choose a dentist office that requires a considerable commute from your work or home, you will be less likely to make your regular checkups.
Not all dentists charge the same amount for services. As surprising as this information may be to you, it is the truth. If you are looking for a new dentist, you should also factor the cost of procedures, diagnostics, and checkups into your decision.
It is not always the case that the best dentists charge the most so you should also be willing to consider recommendations from friends, colleagues, and family members. When you are first vetting potential dentists, don’t be afraid to get estimates for typical procedures such as fillings, crowns, and root canals.
Ultimately, you want to have a comfortable relationship with your dentist. S/he should be professional, but friendly and should demonstrate an effective bedside manner. Your personal comfort is one of the most important determinants of your ability to work with a dentist.
S/he should be able to answer your questions in a way you understand, s/he should be open to your questions about treatments and procedures, and you should feel like your dentists listens to and understands your concerns.
Finally, your dentist should not only accommodate your needs when it comes to location, cost, and rapport, s/he should also have completed the necessary training. Without the right professional qualifications, your dentist is likely not licensed to provide dental care.
Throughout most of Canada, with the exception of Quebec only, dentists must be certified to practice dentistry by the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB).
In order to be certified by the NDEB, dentists must have completed the proper education accredited by either the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) or the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.