Very few people actively enjoy going to the dentist, but it’s a necessary part of life, so you need to find the right practice for you. Just knowing that you’ll be welcomed and understood if you’re nervous, or given the unvarnished truth about your sugar habit if you’re not, makes all the difference.


Here are a few tips and pointers to help you to find the right dental practice for you.

The staff should make you feel welcome as soon as you walk in

You might already be nervous, so you need to see a cheery face and hear a warm greeting when you arrive. It will never be your favourite place, but caring reception staff help a lot. Think about it, your dentist hires these people – if he or she doesn’t think about how friendly and reassuring they are, it’s not a good sign. One anecdote from a nervous patient details how, when they tried to pay they entered the wrong PIN through nerves. This made things worse, but reception staff let her go home, calm down and call the payment in the next day.

Is your practice well-established?

You need continuity of care when it comes to dentists – you need time to build up a relationship with the practice so you all know who and what you’re getting.

How much experience does your dentist have with the treatment you need?

Most dental practices have comprehensive websites now so you can look at the expertise of each practitioner, as well as read case studies and reviews. Many a dentist in Dublin will be able to offer you before and after photos of patients under their care and this will go a long way to putting your mind at rest.

Is there a friendly hygienist?

You’ll see the hygienist as regularly, if not more regularly, than you see the dentist (yes, you will…). It’s important that you get along with them. Not only do they work with your dentist, but they can spend more time with you (admittedly whilst inflicting pain on you) to advise you on cleaning techniques and any innovations that have come out since you were last there.

Is your dentist still training?

Don’t panic! This means is your dentist still interested in learning new skills as well as his or her prestigious dentistry qualification. If you find out your dentist is often off on courses, from implantology to hypnotherapy, new materials and methods, then you’ve found a winner.

Ask lots of questions

You’re trusting this person with your teeth, so ask whatever you need to. Very often, the first couple of visits can be a bit nerve-wracking, so it might be an idea to write your questions and concerns down beforehand.

Ask your family and friends for recommendations

A really useful way of finding a good dentist is to find out who your friends and family go to. If your friend is even more apprehensive than you, or has needed complex treatment in the past, then a recommendation from them carries a lot of weight. Mentioning the fact that your friend recommended them will help you to break the ice with your new dentist at your first appointment.

You should take time to find the right dentist, after all, your teeth affect your general health and wellbeing, so you deserve someone you can trust.