As the population is more mobile than ever, we all have a habit of renting more and moving around more. This has ended the practice of sticking with the same family dentist for multiple generations. The average UK citizen will register with 6 dentists over the course of their life span.
Many people only register with a new dentist W1 when a dental emergency forces them to do so. This is not recommended, as the chances of a dental surgery being available to admit new patients is far from guaranteed. And when a dental emergency occurs, you will not want any delay to treatment, not only because of the discomfort, but also because delayed treatment often results in more invasive and expensive procedures having to be carried out rather than with early intervention.
Not being registered with the dentist also results in not attending regular check-ups, which stops most issues from being detected early on or you forming any kind of working relationship with your dentist. This can make you less likely to approach your dentist early when you start to get worrying symptoms.
A typical dentist will do their best to provide every patient with a relaxed, informative environment in their clinic. The purpose of an effective patient and dentist relationship is to fully explore the needs as well as the goals of the patient, so that their dentist can provide them with the information to make fully informed decisions about their own care. Whether this is strictly medically necessary care or towards an aesthetic goal in terms of cosmetic treatments, it requires a level of open honest communication and a degree of intimacy. This can be quite difficult for anxious patients who have an aversion to all dentistry and often attend clinics as a matter of dire need and attempt to rush through their appointment as quickly as possible. This dramatically reduces the scope of what a dentist can do and more often than not reduces the effectiveness of treatment.
The role of the modern dentist is becoming more advisory with them acting as a guide to your dental care and if a dentist is presented with a case which they are not specialised in handling, they will refer you on to a dedicated specialist who is best equipped to provide that area of treatment, whether it be in endodontics or orthodontics.
The digitisation of patients’ records has made changing dentists much easier, as rather than waiting for dental records to be delivered in the post or via courier they can often be digitally transferred to a new clinic from your old one. Most dental surgeries will perform a full set of dental X-rays upon registering a new patient in order to create a baseline for future care.
If work needs to be immediately carried out, a treatment plan will be written up by the dentist which will make up the first record at your new surgery. Remember, it is advisable to locate a dental surgery when you move into a new area, especially if you have children or you need urgent treatment.