There are hundreds of dental clinics in Kolkata, and each of them proudly proclaims that it is the ‘very best’. We have here jotted down some factors to help you find out an actually good treatment center.
Most Indians (and in particular, Kolkatans) have a rather lackadaisical approach towards their oral hygiene. The attitude is generally like: “Oh, I have a toothache? Let me just pop a painkiller”! In spite of the presence of so many dental clinics across the city – most people do not go for check-ups until their dental health has been seriously compromised. While it’s true that not all dental hospitals in Kolkata are equally good, finding a well-facilitated local clinic is not a particularly tough ask either. Here’s how you can search for the best dental clinic over here:
Ask for referrals – Having a tooth or gum problem is nothing to be ashamed of. Get over this mental block (which is, sadly, too common), and ask your friends, colleagues, neighbors, and/or other acquaintances about whether they happen to know of a reliable dental treatment center in Kolkata. There is nothing like getting first-hand information from other people – its word-of-mouth publicity after all!
Look on the web – Ah, internet – the information database on almost anything under the sun. Nearly every leading dental clinics, including pediatric dentistry centers, have their own dedicated websites. You can browse through them, check out the facilities/amenities, create a shortlist – and get in touch with them. If a clinic does not have a website, take it as an indication that it is, well, not quite keeping with the times.
Check the facilities – Does the dental and gum care clinic two blocks away from home only have check-up facilities, following which long prescriptions are written out? If yes, you will have to look beyond that one. The facility you finally zero in on should offer a holistic range of oral treatment services (including surgeries) – right from dental restorations and root canal treatments, to treatment of problems like gum bleeding and baby bottle tooth decay. Think of it like this: you need to look for a one-stop oral clinic in Kolkata.
Are diagnostic services available? – This is basically an extension of the previous point. In addition to all types of contemporary dental treatment service facilities, a good clinic should also have state-of-the-art infrastructure for diagnostic/confirmatory tests and scans. These include procedures like dental x-rays, root scans, and gum examinations. Having to run to a separate diagnostic lab for getting tests done would be decidedly inconvenient.
Track record – It’s not that a newly established Kolkata dental clinic CANNOT offer high-end treatment services. However, it would be advisable to put your trust on a clinic that has several years of successful track-record, when it comes to taking care of something as valuable as your teeth. Make a list of the tooth and gum treatment hospitals that have been operating in the City of Joy for at least a couple of years. Interact with their representatives, and decide which one will be the best.
Qualification of the doctors – Do not let the suave behavior of receptionists and the glitzy setup of a clinic sway you. You need to find out in detail about the proficiency of the dentists in Kolkata available for consultation there. If you wish to be under the treatment of any particular doctor, check the clinics where (s)he sees patients – and set up an appointment accordingly. One of the key causes of the popularity of the top dental clinics in Kolkata is the presence of the leading oral practitioners there.
Proximity is a factor – Not perhaps the most important one, but you cannot ignore it. For instance, if you have a heavy-impact fall and get a tooth fracture at a late hour – you cannot very well go through a two-hour long taxi-ride to arrive at the clinic of your choice. Look for oral treatment centers that are located within a few kilometers of your home. This would minimize the time required for commuting there, and would help in treatments starting on time too.
General cleanliness and sanitation – This feature is of paramount importance, and you won’t get an idea about it until you visit a dental clinic once. A hospital might be present for many years, and have several renowned dentists in attendance – but if its sanitation standards are poor, you would do well to keep away from it. Risks of tooth/gum infections increase manifold if the rooms/general setup of a clinic are rather unclean. If you need to go for a dental surgery, inquire about whether the surgical tools are properly sterilized or not.
Option to fix appointments online – The lame excuse: “I am too busy to go for a dental check-up” would go for a toss, provided you select a Kolkata dental clinic where appointments can be set up online. Make sure that you can fix consultation sessions with dentists, directly from the website of the clinic you have chosen. There should be provisions for specifying the precise time of appointment as well. You would definitely not want to wait in a queue, when your teeth are paining!
Pediatric dentistry is a separate specialization – As is periodontistry and orthodontistry. You need to look up a dental treatment clinic in Kolkata that has provisions to give you the precise type of oral support that you require. If you are looking to take your child for a dental check up, search for ‘pediatric dental clinics’, instead of just ‘dental clinics’.
Staff demeanor – Would you like to go for regular visits to a place where there are irritated frowns in the faces of everyone? We guess not – and although this has got nothing to do with the quality of dental treatment provided – the prospect of visiting a dental clinic where the staff members are nice and friendly is definitely better. Going for a dentist visit is something children, are, in particular, terrified of. The personnel at a good clinic can put the little patients at their ease.
Look up references – The websites of any decent gum and dental clinic in Kolkata would have patient testimonials on their websites. While you should, of course, go through them – there remains the chance that most of these testimonials have been written by, well, the doctors/other clinic staff themselves. Ask for the contact details of a couple of previous patients, and get in touch with them – to find out about whether the services of the clinic are indeed satisfactory. Request for recent patient details – what the clinic had done three years ago does not matter now!
Multiple payment options – If you choose a dental treatment clinic that accepts only cash payments, that: a) can be inconvenient for you, and b) would be a sign that the clinic is not quite customer-oriented. Any reputed clinic in the city would accept fees and payments in cash, cards (debit and credit), and in certain cases, even via online money transfer. The more payment options are available, the easier it would be for you to transact with the clinic in question.
Affordability – There is a reason why we have brought up this point last. When the well-being of your teeth and gums is at stake, you cannot possibly (or at least, should not) be obsessed about finding the cheapest possible dental treatment solutions. What you can do is compare the charges on similar treatment procedures (say, dental scaling) at 3-4 separate clinics. Choose the one that seems to offer services at an affordable rate and does not compromise on its service quality in any way.
While a dental clinic would, of course, have scheduled working hours, you should have the option of contacting your dentist at any time (there is no saying when a dental emergency might crop up). You should also make sure that your chosen clinic, and the dentists there, have the necessary licenses to operate professionally in the city. Finding the most suitable oral treatment center in Kolkata is no rocket science – a little bit of research would help you find out the details of the best places.