- Reception are
- Infection control
- Radiation Safety
- Transparent and Ethical treatments
The first thing one should notice when he/she visits a dental clinic is whether the reception area is neat and clean or not. It should not have a cluttered look. The waiting area should give homely and plush feel so as to make one comfortable and allay his/her anxiety. This is important as it might indicate the level of cleanliness, hygiene and care one might experience later on.
Infection control is very important when one visits any medical or dental clinic, as no one likes to take home others infections. This is all the more important as some of the communicable diseases like HIV or Hepatitis are life threatening. One should not let the dental surgeon touch him/her without a pair of gloves and a face mask. The instruments to be used should be sterilized i.e. they should be stored in a sterilized pouch & opened only in front of patient. The areas on the dental chair that are frequently touched in between the patients should have disposable barriers to prevent cross-contamination. The patient should observe and immediately comment if the dental surgeon touches the contaminated surfaces & then again without changing gloves, touches the patient. The assistant standing beside the chair should also be wearing gloves & face mask
The patient should inquire whether the x-rays are being taken with an A.C X-ray machine or D.C. X-ray machine. This is important as A.C. X-ray machines generate low intensity X-rays requiring more exposure and also the secondary radiation by such low intensity X-rays can get accumulated in the body and cause harm. The patient should also inquire whether the clinic is using digital X-rays or conventional X-rays, since digital X-rays reduce the exposure time by about 90% causing less harm to the patient.
Transparency in cost and ethical treatments
The patient should demand a written/printed treatment plan with charges up-front, so that he/she is aware about the total cost to be incurred by him/her. The patient should also be shown the x-rays & images of the problem on the screen.
The patient should be explained the treatment plan in detail with all possible complications if any. The patient should ask for videos/images of similar cases to assess whether he/she is being given a realistic post-treatment outcome.
The most important element one should look for is the trust that the doctor generates. Transparent charges and ethical treatment is what is difficult to get. These are some of the few consideration kept in mind while a visiting a clinic or hospital.