3 Tips to Find Your Perfect Dentist

But even with these many options, a private family practice is still the best choice for most patients. Given my own experience managing a successful dental practice in Saratoga, CA, I am sharing three key benefits to finding a private, not corporate, practice and tips for selecting the right experienced dentist and skilled staff for you and your family.

Experience & Relationships Matter
Dental chains typically hire recent graduates with limited clinical experience and no business training. While this can be a successful model for basic services, it undervalues the importance of experience, long-term relationships and comprehensive care. These chain stores often serve as “drill and fill” stations where doctor turnover is high and diagnosis is happening with the dental practice operator (i.e. a corporation) rather than an experienced dentist. A focus on lowering operating costs can also limit available treatment options, resulting in a one-size-fits-all approach instead of a comprehensive individual treatment plan. 

Instead seek an experienced dentist with a consistent and dedicated team to support your dental health. Confirm that they invest in long-term, happy clients by reading their reviews and patient testimonials. Excellent dentists are proud to accept referrals and will gladly share patient references, based on the quality of dental care they provide.

Quality Care is Patient-Focused, Not Profit-Driven
Corporate dentistry is focused on lower fees but higher volumes in order to be profitable. In a high-volume setting, dentists have limited time to spend with their patients explaining complex procedures, discussing lab work (or the importance of lab selection) or reviewing the merits of higher quality products like crowns or fillings.

By contrast, private dental practices are founded with a clear mission of customer service. At my dental practice, we regularly see three generations in a family and treat each patient as a whole and unique person. We spend time getting to know our patients beyond their office visit. My team of skilled hygienists and office staff work as a partner to each of our clients, coaching them to overcome potential hurdles in achieving optimal dental health, demonstrating proper techniques and sharing knowledge that will allow them to present their best smile.

When selecting your family dentist, be sure that she is invested in long-term education and that she connects oral hygiene to overall health and quality of life. An exceptional dentist will want to know you better as a person and engage with you in a holistic approach to health and wellness.

Your Dentist is Your Health Partner
Finding the right dentist can be like recruiting an all-star quarterback to your health team. She knows you and your family’s health playbook and can consistently monitor field changes and track patient progress that might affect not only your smile, but also your whole being. 

A great dentist will provide one-on-one attention to all health changes and take the time to adequately talk through complementary aspects of dental care, such as understanding how diet and nutrition affect gum disease, cavities and other teeth issues.

Selecting the right dentist for your family is a very important decision. While the business model and tools of dentistry will always change —  personalized treatment, genuine care for the individual and a culture of service should not change. We hope you find these important traits in your family dentist’s practice for a lifetime of good health and beautiful smiles. 

Dr. Rapal

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