nhs vs private dentist

What qualities Do You Look for in a Dentist?

Euan Langley
Authored by Euan Langley
Posted Friday, March 25, 2022 - 10:52pm

We all need to go to the dentist in life and choosing the right dentist for you is incredibly important as the wrong one for you might lead to you not going as often as you really should. 

When choosing a dentist in the UK you have the choice of going with NHS and Private Dentistry; meaning that you can either go with the socially funded and government-run or with your own private doctor that you pay for yourself either out of pocket or through insurance. 

So, those are your options for how you are going to pay for check-ups and treatment but what qualities in the dentist should you be on the lookout for. 

They of course need to be highly skilled at what they do, but this is hard for the average person to tell so the only option that most people have is to trust that the dentist doing the work is good at what they do. There are a few things that you should think about that might help with putting your mind at ease that they know what they are doing and that they have your best interest at the forefront of anything that they do. 

The main thing that you should really look out for is that they are good at making you feel comfortable. People don’t really like going to the dentist, a good dentist should make you feel comfortable with the idea of going. A good bedside manner is a useful skill that any doctor can have, especially a dentist. 

What goes in tandem with this is good communication skills and a sense of honesty. You want to feel like you are being heard when you are talking to anyone in life especially when they will be doing somewhat invasive work to a sensitive part of your body. You also need to feel like they are taking your pain seriously, sometimes dentists can become quite disinterested or even jaded due to seeing people in pain every day but that shouldn’t be something that is visible to their patients.

This leads to them needing to have a strong ability to empathise with you. One of the most important skills that any doctor or dentist can have is empathy. Being able to understand how you are feeling whether it is the pain or maybe even if you are feeling anxious about being there and having work done. 

They also need to be able to explain complicated procedures in a way that makes you and any other patients understand them with ease, however, there is a fine line here as they also need to be able to do this without coming off as patronising. This is a hard skill to develop but a good dentist should be able to do it. 

A big thing that even if you aren't actively on the lookout for you will most likely get a sense of is a passion for their craft. If your dentist doesn’t feel like they care about their profession and they are just thinking of it as a job (which it is to be fair) then patients are most likely not going to be that interested in working with that specific dentist. This is true in any client-based profession, nobody wants to work with someone that they feel doesn’t want to be doing what they are doing. 

Choosing the right dentist is crucial in making sure that you are getting the best care possible and that you are encouraged to go regularly and in emergencies. 

Don’t be afraid to change dentists if you feel that the one that you currently have is not right for you, there is also the possibility that it is just a human connection issue; not everyone is going to get along with everyone. 

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