How to Find a Good Dentist in Shanghai

How to Find a Good Dentist in Shanghai
By Andrea Scarlatelli ,

Dentistry in Shanghai has come a long way since the days of patients sitting on rusty chairs out on the sidewalk while a “dentist” pulled abscessed teeth. No, now Shanghai is touted as a great place to come for good dentistry at a fraction of the cost of other countries. But how do you find the dentist that’s right for you? Follow these tips and, while you may never enjoy going to the dentist, you might just dread it a little bit less.


1)  Ask people you know (or don’t know)
Friends and family are the obvious choice, but don’t hesitate to ask a coworker, neighbor – heck, even a stranger with nice teeth could have some good insight. If you see someone with gorgeous teeth, go ahead and ask them for their dentist’s name (just try not to be creepy about it!). If your coworker is complaining about his or her latest dental procedure, be sure to get the name – so you can avoid that office like the plague. Whether your acquaintances have had good or bad experiences, it’s important to find out as much as you can about local dentists and the procedures they offer. Word of mouth is a powerful tool and will most likely act as one of your biggest factors in choosing a dentist.

2.)  Take a ride around town
Keep your eyes peeled for signs that advertise dentist offices (a lot of them will advertise in highly populated expat areas, such as bars and workout centers). When you’re driving by an office, check out the parking lot – is it full? Empty? Somewhere in between? While this isn’t a guarantee of a dental practice’s worth, it can sometimes be a helpful indicator of whether or not it’s a popular place.

3.)  Surf the internet – and make sure to read user reviews
Start browsing the internet for Shanghai dentists, and you’ll likely just feel overwhelmed. That’s because there are a lot of them around, all of them vying for the lucrative expat community. But take the offices one by one and you’ll start to notice a pattern emerging On reader forums, there will be a handful of dentist offices that come up again and again. Taking a look at user comments won’t always point you in the right direction – there’s always going to be that ex-patient with a grudge looking to take down the office, or a friend of an employee who will try to make the dentist seem like the most wonderful experience in the world. But oftentimes, reading enough reader reviews will help you at least get a sense of what offices to look into further – and which to run far, far away from.

4.)  Make sure the dentist is certified
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s still one of the most important things you can do. Either verify their credentials on the office website (although keep in mind that people can post just about anything on the web), over the phone with the receptionist, or in person. In order to get into dental school, high school students must pass a nationwide entrance exam. After their four years in dental school, they earn a BDS degree. That’s not the end of the line, though – graduates must then take (and pass) the nationwide licensure exam in order to actively practice dentistry. This means you should not only look for a BDS degree, but also the dentist’s license to practice.

5.)  Make sure your dentist practices proper protocol – or find a new dentist!
There are certain things all dentists should do when they have a first-time patient. This includes performing a medical and dental history exam, giving you detailed instructions on how to properly brush and floss your teeth (even if you already know the drill!), and setting up a follow-up appointment (once every six months to get a regular cleaning if things are fine, more frequently if you’re having specific problems). Of course, make sure the dentist and all hygienists are wearing masks and latex gloves while examining you. Also, a complete set of X-rays should be taken every five years, although X-rays of specific areas may have to be taken more often.

And just remember – if a dentist just doesn’t feel right for you, there’s no harm in starting your search again. With something as important as oral hygiene, it’s important to find the dentist that’s right for you.

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Bad News !

All cheaters,
even the doctors and dentists. everyone wants to get more money.
China is not place to treat your teeth. they will screw you up and you will notice it after 1-2 years.
Just fly to Thailand and have the best service for half of what they ask you here. air tickets with airasia (they have a website in their name) are very cheap (sometimes 700 rmb round trip). It really worth going there. I have been to Chiangmai, very advanced equipment very good prices.

Mar 29, 2012 19:25 Report Abuse