5 Qualities of A Great Dentist (Dentist Perspective)
Matt Hannan, DDS
Updated: January 14, 2024
Selecting the ideal dentist can seem like an overwhelming task.
Numerous factors come into play, such as the practice’s location, insurance acceptance, the dentist’s availability, and, most importantly, the patient’s experience.
Indeed, the patient’s experience can be a pivotal determinant in this selection process.Recommended Reading: The Fascinating History of Dentistry
Even the most technically proficient dentists can fall short if they lack the ability to communicate effectively or put their patients at ease. A dentist’s interpersonal skills can significantly influence the quality of treatment.
Dentists who excel not only in their field but also in patient interaction are the ones who can transform a routine dental visit into a positive and engaging experience. They are approachable, attentive, and genuinely concerned about your queries and apprehensions.
When you’re on the quest for your next dental healthcare partner, bear in mind these five essential qualities that a great dentist should possess.
While technical proficiency is crucial, a dentist’s interpersonal skills can equally affect the quality of treatment. Indeed, a dentist might be highly skilled, but if they lack effective communication skills or fail to put their patients at ease, the overall patient experience may suffer.
Dentists who truly shine possess expertise in their field and outstanding chairside manners – they are approachable, engaging, and genuinely invested in addressing your concerns.
As you search for a new dental practice, consider these five essential qualities distinguishing a truly exceptional dentist.
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A dentist who excels in patient engagement will be attentive and responsive when patients voice their concerns, maintaining open communication about suggested treatments.
As you evaluate whether a dentist fits you, consider: Are they receptive to your concerns? Do they address your primary complaint effectively? Are they genuinely invested in your well-being?
If a dentist overlooks your primary concerns, they may not be the best fit. Conversely, a dentist who shows empathy towards your oral health and sensitivity to your circumstances will likely ensure you’re a satisfied and healthy patient.Recommended Reading: 7-Day Oral Health Improvement Guide
Dentists can also show their care by showing interest in your personal life. Most people appreciate sharing aspects of their lives, like their job, family, or daily plans.
These topics can give a caring and perceptive dentist valuable insights into your overall health. The bond with your dentist can deepen as they recall these personal details during subsequent appointments!
Dentistry can be stressful for both the dentist and the patient. Dentists juggle managing their dental team, business operations, and hands-on work. Observe how they interact with their team members. Are they kind, receptive, and selfless? Do the team members appear frustrated?
The team’s culture is a reflection of the dentist.
A patient and calm dentist often means a relaxed and comfortable patient experience. A positive atmosphere ensures that patient care remains a priority. Trust is built through consistent engagement, attentiveness, and patience.
Oral health care aims to eliminate bacteria, prevent disease, and manage dental concerns. However, dental issues and their respective treatment plans are rarely straightforward.
Many factors shape a patient’s treatment plan, including cavity risk, treatment urgency, and the patient’s commitment to oral health.
An exceptional dentist is methodical during the treatment planning process.
For instance, do they prioritize the health of the gums and the bone, the foundation for the teeth? The dentist should be capable of detailing, explaining, and justifying each step of the plan, then methodically and carefully executing the treatment.
Visiting the dentist can be likened to taking your car to the mechanic. You must rely on their expertise for an evaluation and trust their repair recommendations, even when you can’t see the issues yourself.
Similarly, you must trust your dentist to provide sound advice, confident they prioritize your best interests.
Regrettably, all industries, including dentistry, can be marred by instances of corruption and deception. Therefore, before committing to any dental treatment, request a visual presentation of the existing problems.
A correlation often exists between a dentist’s attention to detail and the quality of their work. Detail-oriented Dentists take pride in their work and are committed to restoring failing teeth.
Most dentists who possess this trait are patient and methodical. However, dental treatment requires precision and exceptional manual skills, as standards are measured in millimeters.
Does the dentist show concern for the shade of the crown? Are they willing to return it to the lab, even if it might cause inconvenience?
Dental work is all about the details, as the final product may be a part of you for many years!Recommended Reading: Best Dental Pearls of Wisdom | Part 1
My Experience & Expertise
It’s important to remember that many excellent dentists may not exhibit all the qualities listed above.
Some patients may prefer a confident and decisive clinician, while others might favor a clinician who offers multiple treatment options.
Find a dentist who aligns with your personal beliefs and needs. Such a relationship can foster a lifelong partnership in maintaining your oral health.
Need a second opinion? We can help! Learn more. Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you’ll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we’ll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.
Connect with Dr. Hannan!
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