Dr. Andrew Murphy advises what to look for when registering with a new dental practice.
From time to time, some of us will need to find a new dental practice. This may be because you have moved into the Epsom area for the first time, or you may simply feel that you wish to change to a practice offering a wider range of treatments. There are other potential reasons too, but these are two of the most common.
Especially if you are new to the area and don’t really know anyone to recommend a dentist to you, you will probably rely on online reviews as a starting point. This isn’t a bad place to start, although it is always worth remembering that there may be ‘fake reviews’ amongst the genuine ones. In the end, a lot will come down to how you feel when you visit the practice to register. When you do so, there are a few questions that are always worth asking before you commit to registering.
Ask about the dentists working there
You will, quite naturally, want to feel comfortable with your new dentist. After all, they will be coming into very close contact with you during your examinations and any treatment you receive. Do check out the ‘team’ page on their website, where you should find a lot of information. Don’t be afraid though, to ask more questions about the dentist you are registering with, if you need more information about them.
How well established is the practice?
Although a brand new dental practice may have all of the latest equipment and brand new facilities, it will likely not have built up a reputation yet. Although the dentists there should be fully qualified and registered with the General Dental Council, there may be less efficient organisation with appointment booking systems, for example. If you are unsure, you may wish to consider joining a long established practice such as our own Clock Tower Dental Clinic which has been owned and run by the same team for the past 20 years and has well established and trusted systems in place.
Ask for evidence
Understandably, all practices will encourage you to register with them and will promote their own services, but you should always ask them for evidence to back this up. There are reliable external checks on all practices by external bodies.
Range of treatments
If you have previously been registered at a general dental practice, you may not be aware of the range of cosmetic dental treatments that are now available. It is possible that you may not have considered these before, but these treatments can have a really positive impact on your life. Even if you are not considering them at the time you register with your new practice, it is good to know that these treatments are available should you decide, for example, to have your teeth whitened later on if they become dull and discoloured.
Dental care is improving all of the time, and practices should keep up to date with the most useful new technologies that become available. We have always monitored new developments and invested in these where we felt that they would be of benefit to our patients. Two examples of equipment that we have invested in are CEREC, which allows us to provide crowns and veneers for our patients in a single visit. All that is required is around one hour’s wait whilst the equipment produces the crown or veneer from scans we have taken. For anxious patients, we also now use The Wand, an injection free method of delivering a local anaesthetic. This is especially popular with patients who have a fear of injections.
Few people want to travel long distances to see their dentist, or to undergo difficult short journeys to get there. Car parking facilities are available very close to our Epson practice, and for those of you travelling by public transport, we are just one minute away from Epsom train station which is well serviced by direct trains from London.
Special needs and conditions
Some people will have special needs that need to be met in order for them to be able to receive effective treatment. It is important that you discuss any personal needs with your dentist to find out if they are suitable for you. We do also ask you to be honest with us about any medical conditions that you may have as this can affect the treatment provided in some instances. Diabetics, for example, could need to be seen more regularly as they are in a high risk group for gingivitis and periodontitis. You can be assured that all information given to us will be protected and remain confidential.
It is very important to us that any new patient feels happy and confident about registering with us. Our team are always available to help answer any questions that you might have about the practice itself, or the treatments that we offer. If you have just moved to Epsom and are wondering where to turn to for your dental treatment, why not call the Clock Tower Dental Clinic on 01372 720136 and start your journey to a healthier mouth? We look forward to meeting you!
Dr Andrew Murphy is Principal Dentist at Clock Tower Dental Clinic (GDC 65986)