How to change dentists
There are many different reasons to change dentists. It could be because you have moved home and want to attend a dental practice closer to your new address. It may be because a new practice has opened up locally that is more convenient for you, or closer to where you work, or perhaps your current dentist doesn’t have the opening hours that best suit you. You may also consider changing dentists if you’re unhappy with the treatment you have received from your current dental practice or an individual that works there.
This guide includes information about how to change dentists and on finding a new dentist, or changing dentist within a practice, whether you are an NHS or private patient.
Can I change my NHS dentist?
You can change your NHS dentist at any time. When you have found a new NHS dentist or practice to join, you should let your old dentist know and make sure that any upcoming appointments there have been cancelled. If you’re in the middle of a course of dental treatment, you will need to ensure that any treatment you have received so far has been paid for.
You might want to change your NHS dentist for a number of different reasons. It could be that you wish to move practice for convenience, because you’re not happy with the care provided by your current dentist, or because you don’t want to be seen by a different dentist within the same practice.
If you receive NHS dental treatment, you will need to change dentists to a new practice or dentist that is currently accepting new NHS patients. Depending on the area in which you want to change to, the number of dental practices or dentists that you are able to choose from may vary.
With NHS dentists, you are not bound to a specific catchment area like you may be with a GP. You can choose any convenient dental practice that is currently accepting NHS dental patients. You can give a potential new practice a ring to see if they are open to new NHS patients at the moment, or whether there is a waiting list you need to join first.
Choosing a new dentist
You might recently moved to a new city or a new neighborhood and want to find a new dentist, or maybe you’ve been going to the same dentist for some time but you’ve decided that it’s time to find a new dentist. For many of us, selecting a new dentist comes down to simply asking friends and family for a recommendation.
Choosing a new dentist is an important step because you are entrusting your health and wellness to a professional. In this guide, we outline easy steps to find the right dentist for a successful relationship. These questions will help decide on the best dentist for you.
FIRST, SEARCH FOR THE DENTIST WHO CAN HELP YOU
Every case is different. Some people will be looking for a dentist for minor work like teeth cleaning. Others will be searching for more complex dental services like braces or dental implants. Establish the basic criteria for your search and start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Is location important? For many of us, this means finding a dentist close to home, work or school. If you are looking for a dentist near by, this question will be crucial as it will help manage the appointments and reduce the commute. For example, if you live in Oakville, you probably be interested in finding local Oakville dental offices.
- What specialization are you looking for in a dentist? Are you looking for a general practitioner or a specialist in certain field.
- Are you looking for specific office features like wheel chair accessibility or first floor office.
- If you have a dental insurance, does the dental office accept dental insurances?
Second, make a narrow list of potential right dental offices
Now, you have brainstormed your requirements. It’s time to start the search. One of the best methods to find a dentist is to ask people for recommendations. This can be done by asking close friends and relatives for great past experiences. In this day of age, the advancement of the internet made it easier to locate the dental office online.
One of the best ways to find a list of dentists in Ontario is by using the Find a Dentist tool. You can search by city, postal code or specialty. You can also use opencare or yellow pages. Once the search is done, make sure you visit the website and read reviews about the dental office.
Third, call the office, send an email or book a consultation to meet the dentist
Say, you have a short list of few dentists. Now, you can visit their websites and find more about the dentist, the team, the services provided and the office. The research should not stop here. Call the office or use the email to ask the question. Better still, book a meeting with the dentist to directly ask the questions.
Here are some of the questions you may want to ask:
- Is your dentist accepting new patients?
- Are there any availability in the near future? Some offices are way to busy that it takes weeks to book an appointment.
- What is the dentist’s credentials?
- What to expect on the first visit? Should you request the old xrays? How long will the first appointment last and what will be included in that appointment?
- What is the financial policy of the office? will the dentist explain the treatment options and explain the cost of the procedures?
- What are the office hours? Will the schedule fit your schedule? Is the office open during evening hours or on the weekend?
- Is the dentist keeping up with the new treatment techniques and new developments.
If you are satisfied with the responses you’ve received, it’s time to make an appointment with the best dentist that will address your specific needs.
Healthy Teeth Habits From Dental Hygienists
Keep routine dental appointments.
Think about the mold in your bathroom in the shower. What three things happen in a shower that make that mold grow? It’s dark, it’s warm and it’s moist. With your mouth, it’s kind of the same thing, especially under your gums – it’s dark, warm and moist. Bacteria like to be left alone to eat all the stuff in there, and grow and get nasty. So that’s why you come in every six months so I can clean that out.
Flossing is important because your teeth are round, not flat, especially your back teeth. Where they’re touching, you’re not reaching. “With a toothbrush, you’re missing almost two-thirds of the teeth.” Brushing alone cleans teeth’s outer and inner surfaces but misses the sides, paving the way for infection. Flossing feels awkward for many people. So try to show them. “It takes practice and it takes time just to work at it.
Don’t judge your teeth by their color.
It’s a common joke among dental hygienists : “You can tell a patient they have 16 cavities, and they’ll say, ‘But do you do whitening?'” But having model-white teeth is a cosmetic concern, not a sign of superior oral health. “White teeth are not necessarily healthy teeth,. “I see many, many people with yellow or gray teeth, and they think their teeth are not healthy or not clean.” But that’s not the case. Just like the whites of our eyes are different and our skin tones are different, your teeth have different shades.