Choosing a Dentist

Choosing a new dental practice isn’t always as easy to do as you might think. There are a number of alternative factors and criteria to recognise 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 choosing a dental practice isn’t always as easy as choosing the handiest one to your home. If you work in another area to that in which you live, and could potentially need dental attention often in a place that is closer to your work than where you live, choosing one that is part-way between the two locations could be a good compromise. Make sure you get information on the business hours of the practice. If you’re not able to book dental appointments during office hours then you’ll probably be more suited to a practice which has extended opening hours or offers a weekend service.

Dental practice accreditations and standards
Every dental professional in the UK need to be registered with the General Dental Council in order to operate legally. This includes dentists, dental nurses, hygienists, technicians and dental therapists. Also, 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 – worth taking a look online. Normally practices will have their professional certificates for these registrations on display in full view. Dentists themselves may also display their personal qualifications and proof of continuing professional development, either in the practice reception area or their own treatment rooms.

Service availability
If you are looking for NHS dental services, check that any potential practice is looking for new NHS patients. If you are having difficulty finding an NHS dentist, the NHS England / Scotland / Wales website may be able to assist you find one nearby. Whether you are planning to be treated under the NHS or privately, you will need to make sure that the dental practice chosen actually offers the services you need. If you need cosmetic dentistry, for example, then make sure that the procedures you’re interested in are carried out regularly by dentists within the practice. Not all dental practices offer the same services or utilise the same equipment or technology, so better check before you register.

Personal recommendations
Getting personal recommendations from friends, family or colleagues can be a good place to start 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 unhappy with the treatment or service that has been provided by your current dentist and feel that your dentist has been sub standard, you might be able to claim for compensation.

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