It’s a simple fact: if you like your dentist and the office staff, you are more likely to return for your check-ups, follow their advice and keep your beautiful smile. It’s very important that you find a dentist that you trust. This person will be your ally in creating a healthy mouth that will allow you to enjoy everything from eating your favorite foods to laughing with your friends for years to come.
Patrick Gibbs, DMD, is a dentist in the Coast Dental office in South Lakeland, FL. He offers these tips to making sure you choose the right dentist for you:
Make sure the dentist understands your needs. You want a dentist who will take the time to ask questions to understand any issues you may be having. Are you sensitive to hot or cold foods, for example? You may have come in for a cleaning, but a good dentist will make sure he or she identifies and addresses any concerns you may have.
Make sure the dentist offers treatment options that address your needs and your budget. At Coast Dental, every patient is given a treatment plan for review before any procedure is started. You should feel comfortable asking questions so that you can understand the options and the consequences of the health decisions you make.
Make sure the dentist is up-to-date on the latest dental technology and techniques and is using high-quality products. The dentistry field is changing constantly, Dr. Gibbs said. Does your dentist use advanced technology for oral cancer detection? Does your dentist incorporate laser technology when appropriate? You should always feel comfortable asking questions about the dentist’s experience and the number of times he or she has performed a procedure.
Make sure the dentist understands your medical history. You would be amazed at what can influence your oral health, including conditions like diabetes and heart disease, certain medications, and allergies. Always look for a dentist office that asks you to complete a comprehensive medical history form.
Make sure you feel comfortable with a dentist. You want a dentist who has a great chair-side manner and whose level of experience and knowledge inspires confidence. You also want to make sure your philosophy about keeping your mouth healthy matches the dentist’s. Do you want a dentist who is proactive or reactive? How does your dentist handle emergencies? What happens when your dentist is on vacation? These are important questions you want to ask.
Dr. Gibbs has had a few patients who came in for a tour of the office before setting up an appointment. That can be another great way to ensure you’re finding a good home for your dental care. It’s a two-way relationship, and it’s worth the time to make sure you’re building a partnership you can count on for years to come.
Patrick Gibbs, DMD, has been a practicing dentist since 2008. He provides general dentistry services to patients starting at age 10. His services include crowns and bridges, bone grafting, extractions, root canal therapy, dental implant restorations, periodontal disease management, veneers, Lumineers and Invisalign clear aligners. His office is located at 4744 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland, FL, 33813.
Written By: Beth Gaddis
Reviewed By: Patrick Gibbs, DMD
Reviewed By: Charbel Klaib, DMD
Reviewed By: Cindy Roark, DMD