The Best Virtues for a Dentist
We almost all dread going to the Dentist. What’s worse is that Dentists know that we dread it and it contributes to their professional stress levels. Nevertheless the best way to avoid traumatic visits to the Dentist is to bite the bullet’ and regularly visit for checkups. So how do we define a good Dentist? What are the qualities of a good Dentist?
Qualities of a Good Dentist in Palm Beach Gardens – Professional Perspective
From a professional point of view the qualities of a good Dentist are quite distinct from the qualities a client considers essential. Professional practice units of Dentistry courses can help educate about relationships and communication with patients but without the qualities listed below a Dentist will not remain registered for long.
Attention to detail; Perfectionism; A superb understanding of physics and materials; Almost obsessive procedures for hygiene; An ability to take a long term view of a patients outcomes; and Considering each tooth as a component of the entire oral and maxillo-facial complex.
Qualities of a Good Dentist – Patient’s Perspective
From a patient’s perspective sitting in a Dentist chair, unable to talk freely, we can feel quite powerless to control what is going on. Sometimes we do experience pain and sometimes mistakes are made. It does sometimes happen that work is begun that we feel we have not approved or we are confronted with a bill orders of magnitude above what we expected. On top of this price scales vary so widely amongst different practitioners. So what are the qualities of a good Dentist from the chair?
A Good Dentist:
Tells me what they are doing. I am frightened you will do something unexpected and I will flinch and your drill is going to go haywire. Arranges a sign so I can let them know when I need them to stop. Maybe the assistant is not doing a good job with the vacuum and I am choking. Maybe I can’t breathe through my nose too well today. Maybe what you are doing is hurting me. Maybe I am having a reaction to the anaesthetic. Stops and explains to me when you encounter something unexpected. Explain what the problem is, explain what the treatment options are, including temporary and short term or any long term treatment plans that may be required. Doesn’t start something without talking to me about it. It might seem an obvious, necessary fix to you that will only take two more visits to finalise, but maybe I am going to be working away from home for the next 3 months or maybe I’m talking at a conference or have a job interview next week and I can’t present with a lisp or a temporary front tooth. Explains treatment options and answers my questions. I am willing to pay for a longer appointment to have sufficient information to make decisions. A Dentist knows the advantages of one option over another and which solution is perfect for the problem, but I really don’t. Maybe I have other priorities right now so can’t afford that perfect solution, but I will be able to in 6 months time. Provides an itemised quote in writing, when asked. Think of it as a treatment plan if you like – with cost estimates. Please don’t reply with we’ll work something out’, I don’t know what that means and I’ve only ever heard it from Lawyers and Dentists and it guarantees I won’t return. I don’t mind waiting for a week or two. Understands that I may have had unpleasant or traumatic experiences with other Dentists. Please don’t take it personally or become frustrated because I really want to be able to trust you, otherwise I wouldn’t be be in your clinic. Lets me know they will correct any mistakes you make. When a Dentist makes a mistake the client is extremely unlikely to return – the wrong tooth extracted, a distracted attempted grind or polish of a crown or bridge compromising its integrity, a misaligned bite after work – because they believe they will just be charged for more work and who knows if they will make matters worse?
The qualities that make a good Dentist from a professional and from a patient perspective are not everyday qualities, it’s a tough gig with a tough audience, but the key is the ability to communicate the application of their expertise in terms the patient can understand.