Q: I am a retired dentist and read your column faithfully. Although your last column lists many “gadgets and gizmos”, I don’t feel you can judge a doctor just based on that alone. What about their talents on using that stuff and their bedside manner?
A: Some fine points indeed, my dental “brother-from-another!” I am a patient myself, especially on my day off when it seems the older I get the more I spend reading three your old copies of Better Homes and Gardens in many out of date doctor’s offices. Recently while waiting over an hour at a local doctor’s office, I am now an expert on wall paper removal and incorporating flax seeds into my daily living.
Consider the following in making your choice for a new dentist:
- What procedure are you looking for? Make sure he/she does a lot of these! Veneers and implants take many hours of course study after graduation from dental school. See if their website shows many case photos. Check their Google reviews! These are real people who have been treated by the doctor. We allow prospective patients to speak to with some of our current patients to share their experiences.
- Whether your eye contact with the doctor is unwavering; or is he typing while you are speaking and staring at the computer monitor.
- Undivided attention: (Is he watching the clock or trying to multitask?)
- Is he listening to you, letting you talk and seeks to understand what you are saying, i.e. “Active listening”: repeating back what you are saying to be sure he has it right. (Attention husbands!)
- Is he facing you with open arms and appears relaxed and receptive.
- Is he kind, compassionate, respectful, empathetic, and warm in communicating with you?
There are no shortcuts to trust, and there is no way to fake it. Join us on December 8th at our FREE community lecture. Details below.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Implant, Cosmetic and General Dentistry with an emphasis on implants, porcelain veneers, and complex crown and bridge treatment. He is on staff at JFK Medical Center and is a Faculty Advisory Board member at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry. He completed his residency at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.