What Should I Look for in a Calgary Dentist?

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The thought of going to the dentist can be so daunting for some people that they avoid it altogether. This is obviously a bad idea, as dental hygiene correlates to your overall health. Scientific studies consistently link poor oral health to chronic diseases. These can include heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.

Going to the dentist is important to maintain your oral health. But what should you look for to find the best dental practice for you? If you are new to the Calgary area, here are a few factors to keep in mind to help get you started.

Modern Technology

Within the last few decades, dentistry has been introduced to a digital revolution in technology. It has significantly increased the quality of care. Most dental practices in Calgary are equipped with the latest technology of this kind.

Dental x-rays especially have seen major improvements in recent years. Using digital x-rays has been seen to reduce radioactive exposure by up to 90%.

Education and Training

Just like with other medical fields, new advancements in both techniques and technologies means that the best dentists are constantly learning.

The professionals here at Valley Ridge Dental, for example, are committed to providing the most up-to-date care. We utilise the latest technologies for our patients.

A Friendly Staff

Very few people actually enjoy going to the dentist. That’s why having a friendly and welcoming staff can make all the difference in choosing which practice to go to.

Try to find a location that doesn’t have much staff turnover. How you can tell is that is because you usually see the same faces when you walk in. If the people working there are happy and care about their job, they will extend that friendliness and care to their patients!

A Clean and Organised Office

This one is not often thought about. However, a clean office is usually a good sign that the dental practice organises and maintains their equipment well. It’s just like a restaurant that keeps their bathrooms clean. A dental practice that keeps their office and waiting rooms clean cares about the details.

Passion for the Job

The best dentists get into the job because they have an innate desire to help people. This passion sometimes leads to effects outside of their dental practice. Many dentists in Calgary make a point of working with volunteer organisations. Some also provide free dentistry services for people all over the world.

Services Offered

Some dental practices offer many general services, while others specialise in certain procedures. This can include orthodontics or denture care. Before you decide which dental practice is right for you, it’s important to understand what services you and your family require.

A family dentist or general dentist is a good place to start, especially if you have a family. Family dental practices provide all the services needed for both adults and children. The full scale of services can range from teeth cleanings to x-rays to root canals.

Many of them, like here at Valley Ridge Dental in Calgary, also have more advanced orthodontic procedures available.

Family practices are a good choice for seniors as well, but there are some places that offer specialised services for seniors.

Also, keep in mind that dentists aren’t the only people who work in a dentist’s office. It’s important to find a practice that has a staff full of experienced dental hygienists and dental assistants as well. However, many people don’t actually know the difference between the two.

Dental hygienists can perform teeth cleanings and other basic functions during a checkup. Dental assistants usually help with developing radiographs and x-rays. Both are essential to keeping those practices running.

Finding the Right Family Practice

Choosing the right practice for your whole family can be harder than it seems. Not only should you pay attention to the factors listed above, but you also need to find a dentist that you and your kids can feel comfortable with.

Having a bad rapport with the person who has their hand in your mouth for extended periods of time is not ideal. It is one thing for a practice to say they specialise in pediatric dentistry. However, that won’t mean much to your kids if they can’t stand the dentist.

Ask your family, friends, and coworkers for suggestions, especially if you are new to the area. They may be able to point you in the right direction or at least point you away from the bad ones. Your primary care doctor might also have a list available of dentists in the area.

If nothing else, there are many lists online that give you locations, hours, and reviews of all the dentists in Calgary. Once you have found a few potential practices, it is important to check them out for yourself. Online reviews are one thing, but personal experience can go a lot farther in making your decision.


One last thing to keep in mind is your dentist’s availability, as well as your own. If you are on a tight schedule, you might want to look for bigger practices. They have the facilities to deal with many patients every day.

The smaller practices often provide a more personal touch. They give you a better chance to get to know your dentist on a personal basis. If you manage to find a dentist that your kids love, you may as well have struck gold. But remember, they are only human, and they may not be available when you need them.

Typically, if you have trouble scheduling appointments within two weeks or so, it’s a sign that the practice has a large number of patients. They might even be overloaded.  Not only is that inconvenient for you, but it might also lead to lower quality care from overworked dentists. Emergencies may come up in dental care as well, especially if you or your child has braces. As such, it is crucial that your dentist can meet with you on short notice in situations like this. Contact our NW Calgary dental clinic today.

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