Let’s face it, nobody particularly enjoys visiting the dentist, especially when finding the best private dental clinic can be difficult. When there are so many ways to choose from, with such a difference in what is on offer, how do you know you’ll be visiting the best dentist for you? Here we’ll be looking at what separates quality dentists from the rest, and what you need to consider booking your appointment.
What makes a good dentist?
Nowadays, many private dentists have online presence. This really helps in our search, but it can be hard to know if what is said online really reflects the quality the dentist offers. Luckily, dentists and their online presence are monitored closely by the General Dental Council (GDC), who have strict guidelines regarding how dentists can promote and describe themselves.
When searching for a good dentist, you should keep the following in mind:
- Qualifications. Is the dentist qualified in what they do? Dental professionals study hard and put in enormous amounts of work to qualify in their field. They can also further their studies through courses – which vary significantly in content. Some are sponsored by brands, and be review style courses, while others may be run by dental hospitals and be more in-depth.
- Specialisation. Any dentist can work in a field of dentistry, but to be a ‘specialist’, years of further study are required, and only those on the specialist register are able to give themselves the title of ‘specialist’. This means they have met particular requirements set by the GDC.
- Years of experience. While dentists of all ages and experience are skilled, many patients search for those with significant experience, particularly as dentists must keep up-to-date with treatments and procedures, meaning they are unlikely to be behind the times.
- Reviews. On the internet, it is sometimes difficult to know how truthful opinions are, but generally the more (hopefully positive) reviews there are of a dentist, the more likely they are to be genuine. There are many sites which list medical professionals and allow genuine patients to leave reviews for them. On Top Doctors, only patients who have come through our booking system can leave a review, meaning you know they can be relied on.
How does Top Doctors select the best dentists?
Top Doctors has the world’s most rigorous selection process when it comes to choosing the medical professionals who form a part of our team. Our selection process has four steps:
- Leading clinicians nominate their peers – doctors, surgeons and dentists need medical attention too. Who would they go to?
- Independent ADECCO auditing – each professional’s credentials are reviewed and considered, including their education, qualifications, years of experience, publications, awards, professional achievements and conferences. Any type of malpractice or disciplinary history is also reviewed.
- Input from our Clinical Leaders – each specialty and field has a Clinical Leader who is featured on our site as an outstanding and highly experienced medical professional. They are our point of reference and maintain and endorse our selection process procedure.
- Face to face meeting – we always conclude our selection process with an interview with the professional, before deciding if they are right for our team.
What else should be considered when choosing the right private dentist?
Of course, when it comes to selecting the right private dentist for you, it is important to consider experience and qualifications – but it is also important to consider convenience. What are the opening hours of the clinic? How close are they to you? What is their availability?
Top Doctors lists schedules, clinics, and procedures available on all our dentist profiles, meaning you can compare professionals and decide who best meets your needs.
It is also important to consider the cost of treatment when booking with a private dentist. Costs vary depending on the clinic, and procedures offered – the best dentists do not come cheap, but they will be up front with their costs. Dentists and clinics often supply their treatment costs online, or give estimates so the patient can budget adequately.
How can I find the best emergency dentist?
Finding an emergency dentist or a 24hr service providing quality care can be difficult, especially because we usually need these services in the hour we need them most – and we aren’t able to compare and contrast in such a short space of time. It is important not to ignore a dental emergency and seek treatment as dental problems can be potentially serious, and ignoring them can increase the risk of permanent damage. This may result in further dental work, and potentially more expensive treatment further down the line.
If you have a dentist (either private or NHS) which you visit regularly, be sure to check if they do emergency dental treatment and store the number in your mobile for ease of access. This way you will always have it to hand, and you can arrange an appointment as quickly as possible. If you do not have the number saved, search for a dentist near you or one you have previously visited. You can call whatever the time of day, and even if they do not answer it is likely that they will have an automated message telling you how to get in touch with an emergency dentist.
Finding a local private dentist near me
The internet is your best tool nowadays when searching for an emergency dentist near you. Most dentists have an allocated ‘emergency hours’ period which they fit into their schedule, and they will advertise this on their website if they have one. Alternatively, you can search using a specialised medical search site, which lists professionals and the treatments they offer. On Top Doctors, all of our dentist clinic profiles state whether or not they offer emergency treatment, meaning you can be sure the dentist offers the service before you pick up the phone.
It is also important to consider insurance providers and what will be covered. Check your insurance policy and find out if the dentist you have in mind accepts your plan. The information is usually just a click or a phone call away.