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Tips for Finding a Good Dentist

Tips for Finding a Good Dentist

Finding a good dentist can be as difficult as, or even more difficult than, finding a good doctor. It can be especially difficult for those of us who have extreme dental fears. At one time, going to a new dentist can be quite terrifying because of the techniques that dentists used to use. Today, there is little need for fear, because modern dentistry can be almost painless. But, before you can get any dental work done, you need to find a dentist. Here are some tips to help you find the best dentist for you and your family, including where to find a dentist and what to look for.

Where to find a dentist

The first thing you need to do is to start looking around for a dentist in your area. Most people start with Google.

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“For example, if you live in Gainesville, VA you can search in Google “dentist in Gainesville VA” and see the results. Also, you can ask friends and family members who they recommend. Ask them about their experiences with their dentists, including how long office visits usually last, what treatments are offered, how long you will be stuck in the waiting room, if they deal with dental emergencies,and how billing is handled,” suggests Dr. Ahmed Ezze from Easy Dental Care.

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Personal recommendations go a long way, so ask everyone you know who they trust with their oral hygiene.

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If you are moving ask your current dentist to give some recommendations. Also, it’s a great idea to contact the American Dental Society to get references. Schedule a few consultations with dentists in the area to choose one you’re comfortable with. Pay attention to the nearest dental school clinic or hospital dental department, especially if it is affiliated with a major university.

What to look for in a dentist

Not all dentists offer the same services. For instance, some just deal with general dentistry, and don’t do any real amount of cosmetic dentistry. Here are some of the things to look for in a good dentist.

  • Location – Obviously, one of the first things to look at is location. It is best to find a dentist that is near you, so you don’t have to travel for appointments. There are few things worse than having to drive for an hour or more after you have had any major dental work done and all you want to do is sleep.
  • Office Hours – These days, not all dentists work a typical nine-to-five day. This is because there are so many people who work irregular hours, and they may not be able to get for appointments during regular business hours. Look for a dentist who works within your schedule so you always know that you will be able to get an appointment when you need one.
  • Payments – It is particularly important that you ask about how billing is done. Make sure that the dentist accepts your insurance carrier. It is also good if they will offer a variety of payment options, including checks, credit cards, and payment plans.
  • Your Fears – Some dentists actually advertise that they specialize in dealing with patients who have dental fears. If you are one of these patients, this is something that you definitely need to look into. You also need to know that your dentist is going to be willing to answer questions and make sure that you are comfortable with any procedures that they need to do.
  • Qualifications – In addition to knowing where they attended dental school, there are other professional qualifications you need to look for. The staff should be more than willing to answer any questions you have about office hygiene, infection control, etc. You can also get a lot of information from your local dental society.
  • Emergency Care – It is extremely important to find a dentist that offers after-hours emergency care. After all, not all dental emergencies are going to happen during regular business hours. You don’t want a dentist who is simply going to refer you to the emergency room at the local hospital. You want to know that your dentist is going to be there when you really need them.

Featured photo credit: Kawaii Tooth/Jenn and Tony Bot via flickr.com

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Jane Hurst

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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