For many, the thought of visiting the dentist can come with a wave of anxiety. But even when you do build the courage to make an appointment, choosing a dentist can have its own difficulties. Making sure you have the right dentist looking after your oral health is vital in saving you money and time in the future.
It is more important that your dentist is willing to be held accountable for the work completed and the end result than it is to find a nice dentist with flexible hours and a convenient location.
An experienced dental surgery will work with you to establish a pattern of early intervention, identifying issues before they become serious, and helping you avoid larger, more costly future problems. However, an average dentist who only patches up your tooth problems could prove to be a painful investment (and experience!) down the track.
Throughout the Canberra region, there is no shortage of qualified dentists and dental practices. When you do start the process of finding the dentist, it’s important to think long term, for your overall oral health – finding the practice that will work with you to achieve the right outcome.
Asking friends or family often results in them advising you to see their dentist because they are nice – but how do you really know which dentist to choose? If you’re stuck, there are a few things to keep in mind to help make your decision a little easier.
What makes a great dentist?
- Transparency and accountability. Do a bit of research and see what you can find online, or get in touch directly with a dentist you may be considering. If it’s easy to find information about services and prior treatments, it should give you more insight and confidence in their skillset and performance. When it comes to accountability, a picture paints a thousand words. Why not ask for the dentist’s ”before-and-after” examples to get a first-hand look at their quality of work. Great dentists, like the rest of us, like to show off what they can achieve.
- Commitment and consistency: Like a hairdresser or doctor, a dentist should be a long-term commitment and it’s a relationship that should be equal. A great dentist will be committed to your care and should make sure you are following dental instructions and attending appointments. They will be just as responsible for your oral health as you are. In turn, you will be rewarded with a continuity of care, which will be far more beneficial to your long-term oral health. With any professional service, consistency also matters. You must be confident that your dentist can get great results every time. This is helped if the practice allows you to see the same dentist each visit, as they will know your specific needs.
- Experience and qualifications of the dentist. The more experience a dentist has, the more likely they are to know how to fix your problem. If your dentist is a new graduate, ensure they are working under the supervision of a more experienced dentist at the practice who can help guide their work. As with experience, the qualifications of the dentist matters. Have they pursued further postgraduate or professional studies to hone their skills and keep up to date with the latest research? Just because a dentist offers a service does not mean they are good at or specialise in it.
- Investment in the practice. Like investing in their qualifications and further professional development, a good dentist will also invest in their practice and equipment. Advances in dentistry equipment have resulted in more predictable treatment outcomes with better results and less risk. A well-equipped, modern dental practice is an essential advancement that differentiates a great dentist.
- Value. Cost is a number, while value is what you get for that number. The best investment is unlikely to cost the least, so choosing a dentist based purely on the lowest price will almost certainly mean the result is compromised. The best value is when you get a great return on your investment, and that is no different when it comes to dentistry. Ensuring your dentist is focusing on the value and outcome achieved rather than the price of your visit will result in the best possible service.
The best dentists in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and Facebook as well as maintained a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Oasis Dental has 14 years’ experience in looking after dental patients throughout the Canberra region. The practice has a strong reputation for its care and takes an innovative approach by ensuring patients are also well-educated and invested in their own oral hygiene.
The practice has the ability to make strong relationships with its patients and takes a holistic approach to dental care, acknowledging that oral health is intrinsically linked to systemic health. Its staff work closely with their patients towards an end goal which is outcomes based, cost efficient and best practice. This approach measures success of treatment in achievement of the patient's desired dental outcome, rather than the dental procedures performed.
The clinic offers a full range of dental services; it is particularly well known for its comprehensive cosmetic procedures specifically Veneers. But with every procedure and patient, Oasis Dental is meticulous in its processes and is committed to delivering the best possible outcomes. This is demonstrated through the detailed pre-treatment photos and x-rays, which are compared with post-treatment photos and x-rays, to give the patients a first-hand look at their journey and to guarantee the work of the dental practice.
The clinic is located at the Kingston Foreshore in purpose built premises with ample private off street parking.
The well-established clinic is proud of its reputation throughout the region and values itself on feedback from patients, like Riotact commenter Mayo Popish who says, "I can’t recommend Dr Rick enough! He is is totally focused on overall dental hygiene, rather than just a “quick fix”. He’s so lovely to deal with, incredibly professional, and his entire team is absolutely fabulous!"
Since opening in 2019, Molonglo Dental Surgery strives to set themselves apart from other dental practices in Canberra. The team of professional dentists take great pride in delivering highly precise and clinical – yet personalised – dental care in a comfortable and relaxing environment.
Molonglo Dental Surgery believes that dental treatment doesn’t have to be expensive, but ignorance to dental health can be. For this reason, they offer treatment first-pay later options, helping patients better manage their dental care without the financial stress.
The Surgery has flexible opening hours, staying open on weekends and into the evening, as well as 24-hour emergency services.
Molonglo Dental Surgery has created unique ways to reduce dental-anxiety, with their paediatric Dino Chair aimed at relaxing nervous children and those with special needs, to the range of pain-free options for treatments and the ceiling-mounted TV screen with Netflix and ChromeCast.
As Michele Girdlestone wrote on RiotACT, "Dr Monica Sharma at Molonglo Dental Surgery in Coombs is fantastic. Never felt so comfortable at a dentist before."
Dental Embassy listens to client concerns, assesses problems, and plans optimal dental prevention and treatment. Services include dental checkups, dental hygiene, tooth decay, teeth removal extractions, root canal, gum disease, teeth whitening and cosmetic treatments. First visits begin with a thorough examination. Dentists develop treatment plans with costed options so patients can make informed financial decisions.
On Google, Ru Bechler wrote, “Dr. Sri has taught me so much about prevention strategies for dental issues that he saves me money all the time.”
Canberra Dental Care provides a full range of dental services and incorporates the latest advancements in dentistry to give patients the best possible outcomes. The team understands results are just as important as a positive patient experience, and staff go out of their way to ensure all patients are comfortable, even during a standard check-up. The clinic prides itself on running on time, to ensure there is no inconvenience for patients.
Google reviewer, Joe Petroni, left a glowing review for this practice saying, "Quite honestly the best dentist I've ever had and - I never say this but - I'll be back."
Bespoke Dental believes great dentistry involves a comprehensive approach. The clinic was the brainchild of two experienced Canberra dentists who wanted to provide the best care in an environment which gave them the time to talk to patients, consider treatment pathways and perform the best possible dentistry. Bespoke Dental offers a full range of dental procedures, which are delivered to the highest quality.
Luke J recommended their service on Google, saying, "All the staff at bespoke are friendly, non judgmental, warm & welcoming. They've helped me improve my overall dental hygiene & address some long term unaddressed concerns."
If you’re after more information on the great dental services Canberra has to offer, our articles on the best emergency after-hours dentists, the best teeth-whitening services, the best cosmetic dentists and the best orthodontists in town may be helpful to you.
Your experience with dentists in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Do you have experience with any of the dentists listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do any Canberra dentists offer bulk billing?
Several Canberra dentists offer bulk-billing services. It’s best to check with each dentist to find out whether your treatment is eligible for bulk billing. Read our article about the best bulk-billing dentists in Canberra for more information.
How often should I visit the dentist?
According to the Australian Dental Association, it’s recommended you should visit the dentist for an examination and hygiene treatment every six to 12 months. This may vary depending on the health of teeth and gums.
When should my child first visit the dentist?
The Australian Dental Association recommends taking your child for their first dental appointment by 12 months of age or when their first tooth becomes visible. If you notice anything that seems out of the ordinary before either milestone is reached, you should make an appointment.
Can I get cosmetic dentistry work done in Canberra?
Most clinics these days offer a vast array of cosmetic procedures, alongside general dentistry. It’s best to check with your practice and ask for a recommendation if they don’t offer the procedure you are looking for.
Are there emergency dentists in Canberra?
Most dentists will offer appointments for emergency cases. Read our article about the best emergency dentists in Canberra for more information.