With the large number of dentists and dental clinics available in Singapore, the challenge is in selecting a dentist that is appropriate for the dental needs of you and your family. Some factors to consider in selecting a dentist include (in no particular order):
Objectivity and Communication Skills – Is the dentist willing to listen, give you some alternatives to treatment and explain the benefits and risks of such treatment? Is he or she willing to answer your questions about the procedure?
Clinical skills – are you comfortable with the clinical skills of the dentist, either based on your personal experience or the experience of friends and family members?
Training and qualifications – are the dentist’s training and qualifications important to you? All Singapore general dental practitioners have basic training in routine dental procedures. However, if you are considering more specialized treatment, you may wish to consult a specialist (or more than one specialist) to determine if you are suitable for the particular procedure.
Experience – how much experience does the dentist have with a particular procedure? Is the dentist a newly minted one, or has he or she been in practice for an extended period of time?
Continued professional development – Does he or she attend Continuing Dental Education courses to keep current on clinical developments and innovations? Does the dentist teach at their local dental school or contribute scientific publication to professional journals?
Dental Team – if several different dental procedures are required, can they all be provided in the same clinic, or would you have to go to several different clinics to complete the procedure? This would be a consideration in terms of multiple appointments with different clinics, travel time and communications between treating/referring dentists and familiarity with the dental team and staff.
Accessibility – how accessible is the dentist? Is an emergency number provided? What other means of communication are there with the clinic or dentist?
Staff friendliness – how friendly and helpful are the dental staff?
Confidence level – how comfortable are you with the dentist and the staff? Is this a dental team that you can trust to take good care of you and your family’s dental needs? Remember, that since twice yearly visits to the dentist is important to maintain dental health, you will be visiting the dentist on a regular basis. It is important to have confidence and trust in the dentist as this is a long term relationship.