How to Find a Good Dentist in Hawaii

Finding a good dentist is both easy and difficult. It is easy to find the addresses of all the dentists in your area. But it is more difficult to find one you trust, and with whom you can feel comfortable and at home, in the absence of meaningful information. In the UK this is complicated by the fact that some people may wish to have National Health Service (NHS) treatment, but their particular area may have few dentists offering a complete NHS service.

Here are some tips:

– A dentist who will always work unsocial hours to accommodate your appointments.

– A dentist who is willing to make home (domiciliary) visits.

– A dentist who speaks an appropriate language.

– Very modern surgery equipment.

– A delightful waiting room with good magazines, fish, etc.

– A dental surgery with disabled or other special access.

– A group practice or a single- or double-handed practice.

– A branch of a ‘company chain’ practice.

– A dentist who gives the type of anesthesia or treatment you want. This may include hypnosis or acupuncture.


Some of these must be explained. A group practice is one where there are generally several dentists, many of whom do not work full-time. It is entirely possible that different dentists will treat you if you arrive in an emergency. The same tends to apply to a branch of a ‘company chain’ practice. Many of this work from smart shop-fronted premises with information on dental matters displayed in the window. There is a tendency for dentists who work in these practices to move on more rapidly than those in smaller practices. If you are the sort of person who needs a reassuring continuity, these are perhaps not the best places for you, although the dental standards are at least as high as anywhere else.


The FHSA (and its Scottish and Northern Irish equiva­lents) should be able to tell you which dental practices have disabled access, although a call to the practice itself will probably get a more up-to-date answer. People, who are HIV positive, have AIDS or are hepatitis-B positive sometimes find it difficult to get dentists to treat them. Hospital HIV specialist departments and FHSA care facilities generally maintain a list of dentists who are willing to see and treat these patients.


One word of caution. It may not be wise to change dentists, unless you have lost confidence in your existing one. No two dentists will agree entirely about treatment. There are cases of what technically is called ‘overprescribing’, in other words performing treatments – mainly fillings – that may not have been needed, but despite publicity these are rare. (Indeed, a 1995 BBC 2 television show suggested that there is a greater accord between dentists today about what treatment is necessary than ever before.) However, if you change dentist you may be letting yourself in for more treat­ment than your original dentist suggested. This is be­cause a new dentist will not know your dental history, dental decay record (especially the rate at which your teeth decay) or the history of individual teeth. So a filling that looks stained, chipped or even slightly cracked, but which has been left like this for many years by the old dentist on the grounds that it has been performing satisfactory, may look to a new dentist as though it needs replacing as a matter of urgency. This is not to say that either the old or new one was wrong. It is just that dental opinions – like legal and medical ones – are always likely to vary.


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