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Finding a New Dental Practice: 5 Questions You Should Ask

Finding a New Dental Practice

Searching for a new dentist can be an overwhelming and difficult experience. Finding a new Dental Practice is an important task that can impact your oral health. Here are 5 things to look for that can help inform your search and give you the confidence needed to trust your oral health to a trustworthy provider.

What Experience Do They Have?

Try finding out about the past treatment experience of the dentist. As a matter of fact, the ability to offer efficient and comfortable treatment improves with practice and experience. Though it may sound odd, don’t hesitate to ask the dentist how many patients he has successfully treated, because it’s you who may have to suffer any complications arise due to his inexperience.

Keep an Eye on the Gloves

Cross infections are pretty common in dental offices with a lack of precautions. Make sure that the gloves being used by your dentist were taken out from a glove dispenser, not picked from a desk. Equally important is to check what is touched after he puts them on. The dentist should be touching only the dental instruments to treat you. If he touches something else or leaves the office, he’d probably use a new pair but if he doesn’t, please speak up! Also, look out for soap containers as the dentist and other staff should be using soaps frequently.

How Are the Sterilization Standards?

Before going for a checkup or treatment, make sure that the dentist you’ve chosen uses properly sterilized equipment. While it is one of the most important factors to be considered, sterilization is not guaranteed everywhere. The best way is to simply ask the dentist what sterilization protocols are followed on a daily basis. A good dentist is well aware of the significance of sterilization and will be proud to share the ways in which he ensures your safety and protection.

Additionally, see for yourself too. A cluttered, untidy office with lots of junk on the countertops is an indication of below standard sterilization. Hospital-grade linoleum floors can be sterilized but carpets can’t. So check whether there are carpets.

Check the Surgical Instruments

When finding a new dentist, an especially important point is the state of the surgical instruments used in procedures. Special containers for disposing of needles and sharp items should be visible to you. Dentists should be using new devices for each patient, and disposing of used items. Unwrapping a sealed pack of instruments in front of you indicates that the pack is sterilized by a machine. Instruments that aren’t unpacked may contain germs from previous patient’s treatment so you really need to keep an eye on this. These are important indications which show how serious your dentist is about cleanliness.

Check for Autoclave Validation

Autoclave validation is a third party certification that sends packages of bacteria that are difficult to kill at the dentist. On a monthly or weekly basis, the dentist places these bacteria in his sterilization machine, and sends back the package through mail and the company issues a feedback report determining how well the sterilization machine is functioning. If the dentist is willing to show the report, it shows his dedication to protecting your health while if he makes excuses, take it as a red flag.

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