Dentists have high level of trust

Aug. 24, 2010
Eighty percent of Angie’s List members responding to a recent poll have a high level of trust in their dentists.

Eighty percent of Angie’s List members responding to a recent poll have a high level of trust in their dentists. But that doesn’t mean they’re actually following the directions their dentists give them.

Angie’s List, a provider of consumer reviews on local service companies for the past 15 years, started collecting consumer reports on doctors and dentists two years ago.

“Dentists consistently rank in the top five most popular service providers--across all of our 500 categories including plumbers and remodelers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “People really like to talk about their dentists.”

An August 2010 Angie’s List poll showed that four out of five patients have great trust in their dentists. The dentists, however, are mistaken if they think their patients are following the conventional advice to brush their teeth at least twice a day.

Nearly 25% of Angie’s List respondents say they brush only once a day. And 32% admit that they sometimes fib about their oral hygiene practices when asked about it by their dental professional.

“If patients believe in their dentists as much as they say they do, chances are good that they’ll respond well to some gentle reminders,” Hicks said. “Trust should be a two-way street. Finding the right dentist is key to getting that good flow of honest communication going."

Angie’s List tips on how to find the dentist who’s right for you:

* Open wide: Before you open wide for the exam, talk to the doc about any concerns or question you have about how you should be caring for your teeth. Talk about billing practices, appointment cancellation policies, and payment options, too.

* Trust but verify: Check Angie’s List for reports from other patients and check to ensure your dentist is a member in good standing of the American Dental Association

*Special needs: If you have special accommodation needs, be sure your dentist and his or her office can meet them.

*Sedation: There are a variety of options available, including oral sedation, intravenous sedation, or the old standby, nitrous oxide (aka, laughing gas). Check with your primary care physician first to see, if needed, which option would be best for you.

The poll was taken by 1,229 Angie’s List members.

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