By Kate Ranta on Sep 29, 2014 @ 02:00 PM
Few people go to the dentist for fun, but there's no reason a dental visit has to be the nightmare-ish experience many people dread. If you've found that either physical or financial pain has you looking for excuses not to get your teeth cleaned, it's time to re-evaluate. Below are some guidelines to answering the simple question "what if I don't like my provider?"—and knowing when it's time to break up with your dentist.
They disregard your medical history. A good dentist is one who appreciates the importance of your unique background lifestyle, and how your history affects your health. Any office that barely glances at your history is one that is not treating you with the consideration you deserve, and will probably not give you sound medical advice.
The office is dreary and poorly managed. In many cases, the office itself is a reflection of the care it provides. If you are half-heartedly greeted in a dank, unwelcoming lobby, or if you see furniture that hasn't been cleaned, you may want to steer clear. Dentists that are invested in their practice will create an environment you want to be in.
They only advertise the costliest procedures. Some dentists will start with big ticket items straight away. But if you're being told to shell out hundreds of dollars, without first discussing options or preventive care, then you should take your business elsewhere. A good dentist will lay out a variety of options for you, and answer questions honestly without pressuring you.
They are rough with patients. Aside from the occasional unavoidable discomfort, dental appointments shouldn't be physically painful. If your dentist is scraping with too much pressure or gripping your jaw too tightly—and causing your pain—it’s probably a good idea to find a gentler touch.
At the end of the day, you have a right to choose the dentist who is the best fit for you. It can be difficult to leave a practice you've known for a while, but keep in mind that as the service-provider, they should have treated you better to retain your business. A little shopping around can unearth a dental practice that is a pleasure, not a nightmare!