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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.