Choosing a Dentist

Choosing another dental practice isn’t always as simple as you might think. There are a number of different factors and criteria to acknowledge and take into consideration; these include:
  1. Practice location and opening hours
  2. Practice accreditations and standards
  3. Service availability
  4. Personal recommendations
  5. Website Reviews
It might sound obvious, but selecting a dental practice isn’t always as straight forward as selecting the closest one to your home. If you don’t work from home, and could potentially need dental treatment often in a place that is nearer to your work than your home, picking one that is part-way between the two locations could be more sensible. Be sure you get information on the opening hours of the practice. If you cannot book dental appointments during office hours then you’ll probably be more suited to a practice which has extended opening days or offers a weekend service.

Dental practice accreditations and standards
Every dental professional in the United Kingdom need to be registered with the General Dental Council in order to operate legally. Including dentists, dental nurses, hygienists, technicians and dental therapists. Always, make sure all dental practices are registered with the Care Quality Commission and search the internet for the latest inspection reports which are published by the CQC – online due dilligence. Most practices will have their professional certificates for these registrations on display in the reception area. Dentists themselves may also display their personal qualifications and proof of continuing professional development, either in the practice reception area or their private treatment rooms.

Service availability
If you are looking for NHS dental services, be sure that any potential practice is taking on new NHS patients. If you are having difficulty finding an NHS dentist, the NHS England / Scotland / Wales website may be able to help you find one nearby. Regardless of if you are planning to be treated under the NHS or privately, you must make sure that the dental practice chosen actually offers the services you require. If you want cosmetic dentistry, for example, then ensure that the practices you want are carried out regularly by dentists within the practice. Very few dental practices offer the same services or use the same equipment or technology, so it’s always worth checking before you register.

Personal recommendations
Getting personal recommendations from friends, family or colleagues can be a good starting point when looking for a dental practice. They will have experienced treatment from this practice first hand and can give you an honest opinion on whether they would recommend it. If you are not happy with the treatment or service that has been delivered by your current dentist and feel that your dentist has been negligent, you could be able to make a claim for compensation.

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