Making Your Interviews Successful: Questions to Ask Dentists and Red Flags to Watch For

Interviewing a potential dentist is crucial for ensuring you find someone you’re comfortable with and who meets your needs. Here are some questions to consider asking during your interview:

Questions to Ask:

Qualifications and Experience:

  • What is your educational background and where did you receive your training?
  • How long have you been practicing dentistry?
  • Do you have experience with the specific procedure I require?

Treatment Approach:

  • Can you explain the procedure I need in detail, including potential risks and complications?
  • What options do I have for this treatment, and what do you recommend for me specifically?
  • How do you ensure patient comfort during procedures?

Technology and Techniques:

  • What advanced technologies or techniques do you use in your practice?
  • How do you stay with the latest advancements in dentistry?

Emergency Services:

  • What are the protocols for handling dental emergencies outside of regular office hours?
  • Is there an emergency contact number or an after-hours service available?

Patient Care:

  • How do you handle patients with dental anxiety or fear?
  • What is your approach to managing pain during and after procedures?
  • How do you handle patients who miss appointments or have difficulty following treatment plans?

Red Flags to Watch For:

Lack of Communication:

  • If the dentist is dismissive or doesn’t take the time to explain procedures and options clearly, it might be a concern.

Poor Cleanliness and Organization:

  • An unkempt or unhygienic clinic might indicate a lack of attention to infection control and overall patient care.

Pushing Unnecessary Procedures:

  • If a dentist strongly recommends multiple expensive procedures without thoroughly explaining why they’re necessary, it could be a red flag.

Limited Options or Flexibility:

  • A dentist who only offers one treatment option without discussing alternatives might not be considering your specific needs or concerns.

Inadequate Emergency Preparedness:

  • If there’s no clear plan for handling emergencies or no provision for after-hours care, it might be a concern for urgent situations.

Unwillingness to Provide References or Portfolios:

  • Reluctance to share patient testimonials or before-and-after photos could indicate a lack of confidence or unsatisfactory outcomes.

Keep in mind that trust and comfort are essential in the dentist-patient relationship. If something feels off or if your concerns aren’t adequately addressed, it’s okay to seek a second opinion or look for another dentist.