Dentistry from the Heart: How to Identify a Dental Practice That Cares

Few, if any, people look forward to having dental work done. It can be painful, embarrassing and expensive. It's no surprise then, that 7 million Australians delay dental treatment. Many people don't seek out a dentist until driven to do so by pain or fear. Of course, by then it is too late to take preventative measures.

If you are procrastinating about booking a dental appointment, it may well be because you are uncertain about the kind of experience you will have. Fortunately, most, if not all, dental practices have an online presence in the form of a website. This allows patients to do a little research before deciding where to go.

When evaluating a dental practice, look for the following 3 characteristics.


The first and perhaps most important aspect to look for in a dental practice is a consistent desire to improve its service. The simplest way to determine this is by looking at the accreditation symbols on a dental practice's website.

A dental practice that cares about the welfare of its patients will be ADA (Australian Dentistry Association) accredited. This means that they have adopted the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS) into their practice. Put simply, adhering to these standards signifies that a dental practice seeks to put the needs of its patients first.

Empathy and Approachability

Many people are put off going to the dentist because they fear that they may be scolded or judged unfairly. Maybe they haven't seen a dentist in several years or have allowed a dental condition to become serious. Past experiences also play a part in sowing the seeds of fear.

It is important then, for a dentist and in fact a dental practice as a whole, to be a place where patients feel welcome and secure. Approachable staff who readily listen to patient concerns and dentists, who are willing to compromise in order to ensure patients are comfortable, are two essential characteristics.

By calling a practice beforehand, as well as reading online patient reviews, will help you to recognize if these characteristics are present or not.

Willingness to Explain Treatments

One effective method of allaying patient fears is to explain the steps to be carried out during treatment. A willingness to answer patients' questions and the ability to preempt patient fears are also two essential traits. When a patient goes into the treatment room nervous because they are unsure of what will take place, the experience will become even more unbearable.

If you are in need of a dentist, don't let fear hold you back. Do your research beforehand, and you'll be able to locate a dental practice that puts the welfare of its patients above all else.