5 Things to Check In A Dental Clinic
How do you know if your dentist truly cares for you as a patient? A dental clinic is not just your dentist, it extends more than that and looking at certain details matter. Of course your dentist is the most critical ingredient when you choose your oral health provider but you can assess immediately if your dentist really cares for their patients. It is like going to a restaurant, the food maybe great but how truly great is the place? There are behind the scenes and even in front of you that you should consider important and it provides you signs that will tell you if that dentist is for you.
I. Ambiance - A lot of us when we go to the dentist consider it as a stressful appointment. And, we go through it because most of the time we are already in so much pain or the condition is already bothering our daily lives. That's how we normally are when we go and visit our dentist. Thus, it is important that when we visit to our dentist's office that the ambiance can relax and comfort us. Ambiance comprises of the main color of the reception and clinical area, the music background if there's any, the video played if there is any, the smell of the place, the entire decor of the clinic and the organization of the place. These are all critical for you to make you feel calm and sooth the fear and stress you feel while waiting for your treatment or even during for that matter. Seeing that your dentist understand the importance of this provide you an inside look on how your dentist are aware of details that can be significant to you.
II. Convenience - We are creatures of comfort. We prefer almost everything to be handed to us. So, same goes with the tradition on how your health providers should treat you. However, convenience always comes with the price. Hopefully, we all know that because anything more convenient becomes more expensive. Having said that, you don't need to break your arm and a leg to pay for it. Convenience can come into to the most basic forms at least on standard. One, it is best if your dentist's dental clinic has its own washroom preferably clean and smells good with complete basic toiletries like tissue paper and soap that is not something as dirty as your hand if in bar or totally diluted with water if in liquid form. Second, parking or at least an area near the clinic where you can park your car. With the state of traffic and safety of your vehicle, having somewhere where you can park your mode of transportation will put your mind at ease while you are being treated. Third, the comfort of the dental chair. There's nothing that irks me when I get a stiff neck along with paying the bill after a tedious time being stress in opening my mouth for my treatment. I don't know about you but that's critical to me. As well as not drowning me in my own saliva and spraying water all over my face during my treatment.
III. Punctuality - We always make excuses as to why we are late in our appointments. A doctor or a dentist who cares about you also cares about the value of your time. If their time is important yours is too. However, you need to be on time as well for your appointment. Dentists sometimes overbook patients because patients are also notoriously late for their appointments and more so on cancelling their schedule on the day itself a few minutes before. Each time cancellations occur, remember it means that your dentist is losing his/her time to deal with other patients as well as their source of income. So, on this note, it truly cuts both ways.
IV. Information Dissemination - Your dentist is required to explain to you in detail exactly your options for your treatment and that includes not only the pros but the cons as well as including the costs. It has to be done in terms you can easily understand and in manner that is open for discussion. Your dentist should also be open to your questions no matter how stupid it may sound because that's why we are here to provide you the right information regarding your oral health. It is also best to take note that your dentist has to take both your medical and dental history on your first visit and is able to make you feel comfortable enough to agree on the treatment you both decided to undertake. Remember, at the end of the day unless it is detrimental to your health, the choice of treatment is yours. If you can't clearly decide which one of the options given is best for yourself then the explanation is not enough and the information disseminated to you is half baked to short cut the time spent with you unless the desire to do that came from you. This situation like Punctuality is a double edge sword, sometimes patients are so much in a rush and allows the dentist to make that decision for them, if that is so then whatever happens, your dentist is exonerated from blame and you have to bear the consequences of your own actions. Giving time to your health is important and that goes with providing the treatment it needs when there's a problem. Provide adequate time to know and be given the right information for you to arrive on the right decision. It is your mouth after all, you got to live with it.
V. Infection Control - There's nothing more important than all the 5 mentions here than this. Your dentist has to practice infection control and there's no ifs or buts about this. Well, how will you know? First, ask your dentist's staff or even the dentist herself if the clinic has an autoclave. This machine is not optional especially in a dental clinic that deals with a variety of problems that you can contract accidentally due to poor infection control. No matter how poor you are if you go to a health provider that don't practice infection control, then, expect you are being treated the way they see you, and that is they simply don't care about you. I know it is harsh to say but that's really the unfortunate truth. The bottom line is having an autoclave and practicing to use it has cost, thus, they exchange it to UV, Dry Heat and chemical disinfectants. A disinfectant is totally different to sterilization. However, disinfectants are also as much as necessary to having an autoclave because there are materials or equipment you can't autoclave but when it comes to dental instruments that will go to your mouth while the possibility of being cut or bleed is high, make sure any metal instruments that goes into your mouth is autoclaved. Otherwise, get the hell out of there. How will you know for sure? Instruments are normally should be in a pouch. And, if the clinic does practice it, they know the protocol on how to properly handle it for your safety and theirs.
The truth of the matter is that if you, our patients, don't demand the quality of health care you believe you deserve from us, nobody will lift a finger to change what's right and proper to give you the quality of service each human being deserve to have. As much as we would like to think that our health providers are saints and will automatically provide you the treatment you feel is right for your safety, then, I will be the bearer of the bad news that it is not the case. We can all pretend that it is otherwise but the health industry is an expensive business and it is a business. So, at the end of the day, it is not in your best interest to automatically assume that your dentist will do good by you, you got to know, ask, listen, observe, look and check if this is the dental clinic that will truly provide you the care you need at its utmost standard to protect your safety and provide you an effective treatment sincerely knowing they really do care for you.
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