The dentist! your experiences..

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  1. To all the lovely stylish ladies out there , how would you view the best dentist experience ?
    I am asking this because I am a dentist and I want to give my patients the best possible care . I am based in the UK where access to the National Health System is very good , everyone can join and is very cheap compared to private dentistry , but unfortunately there is not much money in it for the dentists who are offering this service (me included).....still , I want to hear your opinions on what makes a more pleasant visit to the dentist .
    So, is it the actual setting , do you like it to be posh, modern or just clean and tidy . How about the receptionists , they are usually the first to give you an idea of the place , if you don't like it do you still go ahead and want to meet the dentist?
    Finally and most important is the dentist , how would your 'dream experience ' be (well if there ever is such thing in the dentist visit :smile:) and what annoys you the most ?
    Prices are no object as here in the UK everyone pays the same fee for national healthcare.
    I cannot wait to hear your opinions on this !!
    TIA
     
  2. Have you looked at web sites for US dentists? Ada.org might be helpful too.

    There is a lot of emphasis on cosmetic dentistry here.

    Being very friendly attracts customers. What would annoy me would be the dentist getting frustrated or the tech getting rough. Be careful what you say in front of the patient. I expect the person working on me to be responsive to any noises or gestures I make. They usually stop if they detect a concern. They'll often narrate what they are doing and how long it will take.

    A clean office is expected and modern is a plus. Some dentists try to give the office decor a little personality based on the location. A view out the window is always nice if you have that option.
     
  3. Besides friendly service and providing competent dental care, not trying to push unnecessary procedures. I don't know what it's like in the UK, but almost every dentist I had did this. Even pushing for more x rays when I already had a set done the same year, just because I still had $ left in my insurance. My doctors don't do this, so it's grating on my nerves when dentists do.
     
  4. I don't need posh, but I do notice that sanitary procedures are in place--gloves, some of the equipment is covered in clear plastic, things like that.

    If I'm in a long procedure I appreciate when the dentist asks how I'm doing and do I need a break. Explaining why they do certain things (examining the tongue, for example) is appreciated.

    I'm sensitive to really cold water so when they squirt the rinsing water if they ask about that, it's thoughtful.

    I think you'll be terrific because you care about your patients' dental experience. Just putting yourself in your patients' shoes goes a long way to helping them feel at ease and trusting you to do your best for their oral health.
     
  5. Lots and lots of painkillers.
    Unfriendly receptionists would lead me to believe the doctor doesn't really care about their patients so I would find another doctor because no doctor is so good that I would put up with that!
     
  6. I am terrified of my dentist. LOL He is a great person and very good at his job, obviously it is not him personally. I think you have to keep in mind there are a lot of people like me. Just walking into the office is scary. I like a nice, warm, comfy office. Nothing too high tech. A waiting room with comfortable chairs and a receptionist that is friendly and actually cares about the patients. I like to know what is going to happen and about how long it will take. But not in too much detail! lol My dentist and I have a signal if I need a break. I expect the dentist to pay attention to any sign I might give him that I need a break or have a problem. I know it is probably just me but I worry throughout the procedure that things are not going well. Just a little "you're doing great" or "we're almost there" or "everything is going well" is very comforting to me. I am probably the exception as most people don't need this level of handholding but I think if you are very attentive to the patient that will always be an advantage.
     
  7. Great responses ladies , thank you so much , this is invaluable advice for me!! I'm a young dentist (well 35 ..:smile: and I want to make sure I am off on the right foot in my career of caring for people especially on the National Health System where patients are often poor or very poor /vulnerable .
     
  8. Good luck!
     
  9. I used to hate going to the dentist, but now I enjoy it. Besides what has been said above, i think a good dentist also notices my body language. I tend to not say anything when im in pain, and a good dentist will notice that im squeezing my hands hard because im in pain. Also, i think a good entidt wont make my open wide the whole time if i dont have to. My dentist is pretty good about that and i appreciate it because then my mouth wont be so tired
     
  10. I spend more time with my dental hygienist than I do my dentist. The hygienist cleans my teeth, takes x-rays, etc. The dentist checks my teeth/mouth every other visit, as long as all is just routine care. If I need anything other than a cleaning than the dentist does that.

    I like they offer a lidocaine rinse before my cleaning, it takes the edge off for pain & sensitive spots. They also use warm water, as I have a couple of areas sensitive to cold water.

    The office is clean, modern and fully equipped.

    The receptionist is very friendly, but she also does the billing & I have had issues with her over that. She is NOT good at billing with my insurance co., and many things have had to be re-submitted because she did it improperly the first time. This is mostly true with my husbands periodontal treatments. She expected me to call our dental insurance and ask them what was needed for the forms to be submitted properly! I (nicely) informed her I did not work there and the billing was not my job. I gave her the claims number for our insurance and told her she needed to call herself. Eventually, she did and it all got straightened out!
     
  11. #11 Feb 5, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2014
    I have the worst anxiety at the dentist. I only had one dentist that made me feel comfortable. He was an older man and he had a home office. His office was very comfortable and felt like you were at a friend'd house. The waiting room was set up really nice. Of course the regular treatment rooms were done with all the equipment but the walls were in soft colors and made you feel calm versus that all white sterile naked rooms some places feel like. One thing that bothers me the most is that horrible dentist smell of perhaps the things they use to sterilize the equipment that you can smell as soon as you walk in the door in some places. My kids dentist burns candles on the desks of the girls sitting inside their little office that has the window and counter opening to the reception room and hall. Her office always smells nice.
    Have had a few dentist push for extra treatment like x-rays that were not needed at a 6 month cleaning when they were taken 6 months earlier.
    I think one of the things that help is if a dentist knows a patient has anxiety they will help in some way. I was getting a cleaning done by one dentist and I told her I had anxiety and panic attacks and I fear the dentist. So as I am stuck sitting in her chair while she is cleaning me teeth she starts to tell me that God says the biggest sin in the world is FEAR. As she continues to ramble n about this I am now wondering if she is in some way saying I am a sinner because I have fear? Let's just say I never went back to her. It was sad because she literally looked like the twin to my best friend so I would have been very comfortable having her as a dentist. But the preaching of sinners and fear did me in. When I had some gum work done at the specialist dentist he and his assistant told jokes and stories the whole time the procedure was happening and I literally did not know It was over until he started to stitch me up. All the dentists here have TV's in each treatment room so you perhaps will be distracted. Some have the camera thing too that allows you to see what the dentist is doing inside your mouth. I have no desire to view things like that.

    perhaps my fear of dentists comes from a memory that will always be with me of when I was little maybe around 5-7 and I was at the dentists and this man slapped me in the face for me being scared. I remember walking home with my mom and brother crying but my mom was not in the room with me when this happened.
     
  12. Can you make it not hurt at all? That would help a lot.
     
  13. I've unfortunately spent a ton of time at the dentist office, 5 crowns done in just the past few years and a cavity in every single tooth. This is what I'd recommend:

    -Tell your patients that if they raise their left hand, you'll stop what you're doing immediately. My dentist does that for me, so on the rare occasions (emergency root canal) when I'm in pain while he's working, I know if it's unbearable that just raising my hand will make it stop for a bit. Makes me feel much safer.

    -Let them listen to their iPod to mute the horrible sounds a bit. I won't even go for cleanings without my iPod. I have the volume at a low enough level that I can still hear the dentist or hygienist.

    -Kind and friendly receptionists, and comfy couches for the waiting room. My dentist also has a Keurig machine. I don't use it myself, but I've seen other people use them while they wait.
     
  14. Good luck :smile:
     
  15. Like many dentist trips were not my favourite experiences, I wasn't scared but they weren't the highlight of my week let say. Then we moved and I registered with a new dentist and OMG I cannot tell you the difference, I actually I have no qualms about going now and I enjoy the appointments. the one thing that stood out for me was how gentle he is when he examines my mouth. I can honestly say I don't even feel him prodding so gentle and slow not rushed. Then he never rests his hand weight on my face at any point, I haven't had an extraction though so not sure what he would do in that situation but for me this has completely changed my experience with the dentist. He is kind of a shy guy but he makes you feel totally at ease with his calm. The reception staff are friendly and warm.They always make conversation while you are waiting to be seen. I think even if I moved again I would still travel to his practice. As for a posh reception don't think is necessary, a warm atmosphere where people feel relaxed not tense to sit on the pure white leather sofa for the fear of ripping it with their jeans studs, is all that's needed. And some colour :smile: