Welcome to the Derby Dental Guide!
If you're looking for a new dentist in the Derby area, it's probably because:
You're new to the Derby area
Your usual dental clinic has recently closed or your dentist has retired
You haven't visited a dentist for a long time and are no longer registered with one
You aren't satisfied with your current dentist
Your lifestyle or needs have changed
How a dentist can help you
Although we tend to think of dentists only in terms of our oral health, in reality the health of our teeth and gums
is intertwined with the rest of our body. The mouth is the main entrance to the body, and the gums and teeth and
linked to the digestive, nervous, endocrine, lymphatic and skeletal systems, as well as to the bloodstream.
90% of systemic diseases are linked to symptoms in the mouth. There is also strong evidence that heart disease,
strokes, diabetes and lung disease may be caused, or at least made worse, by poor dental health. This is why
finding a quality dentist is of the utmost importance. Your dentist is an expert in diagnosing and treating
conditions of your teeth, gums, jaw and face: conditions that can have a tremendous impact on your overall
health, well-being and confidence. Most importantly, your dentist can help you prevent damaging and costly oral
health problems from occurring in the first place.
Finding a dentist in Derby
Although it's easy to simply find a dentist in Derby, finding the RIGHT dentist can be a little more challenging!
Many people take the easiest approach and choose the same dentist as a family member or friend, the nearest
dentist to their home or work, or simply the cheapest option available. These approaches, although fast and easy,
can lead to significant problems down the road.
Common complaints people have about dentists:
Paying too much for dental care
Having to wait weeks for appointments, or not being able to get appointments at convenient times
Feeling stressed and uncomfortable when visiting the dentist
Not getting the quality of care they hoped for or expected
Having a dentist that is not right for their particular needs
By taking just a little time to think things through and do a little research before you register with a new dentist,
you'll be able to avoid the problems listed above and instead find a dentist who:
Provides excellent value for money for the treatment you receive
Makes you feel comfortable
Has an approach to dentistry that is compatible with your own needs and preferences
Is experienced in providing the types of dental care you personally need
Is conveniently located
Is available when YOU need an appointment
Is open, approachable and willing to answer whatever questions you may have
So let's get started on finding the right dentist for you!
Step 1: Specify Your Needs
The first step in finding a good dentist is to understand your individual needs and preferences. There are a
number of things to for you to consider, such as what type of dentist will suit you best, when and where you
would like to see your dentist, and whether your dentist's approach to oral care suits you personally.
To complete this first step, simply note down on a piece of paper the key things you're looking for in a dentist:
What are your personal preferences?
What are your “musts” (the essential features you're looking for)
What are your “deal-breakers” (factors that would automatically make you rule out a dentist)
As you work through this guide you'll find that you begin to develop a clearer picture of exactly what you're
looking for. This will in turn make it much easier for you to find a dentist you feel comfortable with and can trust.
Below you'll find some of the first things you need to consider.
Types of dentist
If you have special dental requirements, you may need to shop around a little more to find the right solution. For
example, if you're looking for a more attractive smile, you may prefer to focus on finding a cosmetic dentist.
Here are the main types of dentist and their areas of speciality:
Type of Dental/Oral Healthcare
What They Do
Your general-care dentist examines and monitors the condition of your teeth and gums. He or
General dentist she will chart an overall plan to treat current problems and to prevent future ones developing.
A general-care dentist uses a number of procedures for restoring decayed, diseased or injured
Paediatric dentists have postgraduate training in working with children and specialise in
conditions common to children. They have chid-size equipment and are experienced at putting
(also called pedodontist) children at ease.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon Surgery of the mouth, jaw and face are performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Common procedures include placing dental implants, correcting cleft palates and repairing
facial injuries such as fractured jaws.
Periodontists specialise in diseases of the gums and other tissues that support your teeth.
Have you ever had a root canal? If so, it may have been performed by an endodontist, a
specialist who focuses on the pulp—the tissues, blood vessels and nerves inside your tooth,
and in the tissues that surround the outside the tooth’s root.
Orthodontist Making sure your teeth are straight and your teeth meet properly when you bite down is the
job of an orthodontist. Braces and retainers are common tools used by an orthodontist.
From teeth whitening and tooth veneers to gingival sculpting, bridges and braces—a cosmetic
Cosmetic/aesthetic dentist dentist has the tools and technology to bring a great-looking smile to your face.
An indispensable defender of your dental health, your dental hygienist conducts initial
examinations, cleans teeth, scrapes away stubborn tartar, takes x-rays and provides instruction
If you think you'll need treatment from a specialist dentist, you may want to find one by yourself from the outset,
or you may consider getting a referral to a specialist from a general dentist. Factors that influence your decision
will include how much treatment you require, how often you'll need to see your specialist, and whether you will
have this work done privately, on the NHS, or a combination of both. If you're not sure about the answers to these
questions, continue your research as laid out in this guide, and then ask your prospective dentist for his or her
thoughts before you decide whether to go ahead and register or not.
NHS vs. Private dentists
One of the main issues people have difficulty with is whether to choose an NHS or a private dentist. NHS dentists
are typically cheaper than private dentists because they are subsidised by the NHS. There are also standard
pricing guides for NHS treatment, although some of the procedures offered by NHS dentists may fall outside these
The cost for treatment from a private dentist may be double that charged by an NHS dentist, but private dentists
tend to use more modern equipment and may offer a greater variety of treatments and options. For example,
NHS clinics may offer only basic options for fillings, crowns, braces, etc, whereas private dentists may provide a
greater range which includes more expensive, cosmetically-pleasing options. One other thing to consider is that it
is usually easier to make an appointment with a private dentist than an NHS one, as NHS dentists tend to be in
high demand because of their lower pricing.
If you're not sure whether to choose an NHS dentist or a private one, there's no need for concern: you can have
both! Some dentists do both private and NHS work, and it’s also possible to register with two separate dentists.
For example, some people register with an NHS dentist for routine check-ups, cleanings and fillings, and then use
a private dentist for procedures where appearance is more of an issue, such as veneers. The key is to consider
what works best for you.
Dental Insurance Plans (DIPs) are readily available from many providers, including High Street shops such as Tesco.
Prices start at about £10 per month but, as with all types of insurance, the more you pay, the better coverage
you'll receive. Make sure you are familiar with the terms of your current policy (or the ones you're interested in if
you don't yet have one). Most policies tend to have clear restrictions about the treatment you can receive and
under what circumstances it's available. For example, many policies exclude treatment for pre-existing conditions,
while others only cover particular dentists, so make sure you look into the details of the policy.
Finally, consider whether you need a DIP at all: if you usually just require check-ups, cleaning and perhaps the
occasional filling, it might be cheaper overall for you to "pay-as-you-go" rather than signing up for a dental
insurance plan. But whatever plan of action you decide on to cover the costs of your dental care, always make
sure that you're in a position to get whatever treatment you may need.
You’ll obviously need to find a dentist that fits in with your/your family’s lifestyle: otherwise it will be difficult to
make and keep appointments and your oral health will be compromised.
Things to consider:
Location: where will your dental clinic ideally be situated? Near to your home? Your work? Your children’s school?
Appointment times: what are the dentist's business hours, and how do these compare with your schedule? When
do you plan to visit your dentist? When would be the best times for you to schedule your appointments? Do you
need to pick up children from school to take them to your dentist?
Personal philosophy: these days, largely because of the abundance of information available through the media
and the internet, we tend to be much more educated about the healthcare options that are available to us. This
has led many people to develop clear preferences about the types of healthcare they choose for themselves and
their families, and which dental and healthcare
professionals they choose to seek help from.
For example, some dental patients prefer a more
natural approach to their health care due to
concerns over the use of mercury in the amalgam
used for fillings. Others wish to limit the number
of x-rays they receive after reading about
possible links with thyroid cancer.
If you have strong preferences or requirements
regarding your health, it’s important that you
find a dentist that provides the type of care
you’re looking for, or who is at least open to
discussing your concerns.
Overview of Step 1: Specify Your Needs
Make sure you note down any key considerations that may affect your choice of dentist:
Consider the type of dentist that will fit in best with your financial plans (NHS, private, types of insurance
Write down any particular areas of specialisation you may require in your dentist (paediatric, cosmetic
dentistry, orthodontics, etc)
Make a note of the most convenient locations and times for you to visit your dentist
Determine if there are any other factors that are important to you in your choice of dentist (approaches
to dental care, types of treatment available, etc)
Step 2: Find Out What's Available
Once clear on what you're looking for in a dentist, you're ready to start the next step: finding out what’s available.
Here, your objective is to come up with a list of possible dentists who fit in with your broad criteria (type of
dentist, location, opening times, etc).
The simplest way to do this is to visit the Derby Dentist Guide website where you can easily find a lot of key
information, such as location (with maps) opening times and so on.
Another good place to check is the Derby Yellow Pages, local newspapers, and individual websites on the internet.
Finally, one of the best sources of information on dentists is their patients! Check with your family, friends,
colleagues and trusted advisors (people whose opinions you trust, such as doctors, other healthcare/healing
professionals, and other people you may know). You're likely to get a number of good possibilities simply by
By doing this, you should be able to come up with a list of local dentists fairly quickly, in fact, some dentists may
already be standing out as possible candidates for you. At this stage, though, your main priority should be to
simply find out what's available and to rule out any dentists that are clearly not suitable for you. Don’t be too
concerned about finding the right dentist, right now. Just get those prospects down on a list and you're ready for
the next step: refining your list.
Step 3: Refine Your List
By now you should have a two lists: the first, a list of the key factors that are important to you in your choice of
dentist, and the second, a list of possible dentists for you in the Derby area. It’s now time to find out a little more
about your prospective dentists, and reduce your list to a more manageable handful. Here are some ways you can
get the information you need to make your decisions about who to keep and who to cut:
Word of mouth
When it comes to looking for a dentist, it seems particularly appropriate to consider word-of-mouth! Great
dentists quickly develop a positive reputation in the surrounding community, and often far beyond that.
Previously, you asked your family, friends, colleagues and trusted advisors about the dentists available to you
locally. It’s now time to get into greater detail and find out what people like (and dislike!) about their dentists.
A word of warning before you proceed: although it’s often easy to follow someone’s recommendations, finding a
great dentist is ultimately about making sure your personal needs and preferences are met. While your
neighbour’s dentist may be perfect for him, she might not be for you, so it’s always worth getting a clear picture
of what a particular dentist has to offer. The key is to get specific information that will help you make an informed
decision. Here are some questions to help get you started. You may also want to jot down any others that spring
How long have you been with your dentist?
What do you like/dislike about him or her? Why is that?
What facilities do they have?
Does everything seem clean and modern?
What is the atmosphere like at the clinic? How do you feel when you go there?
What types of treatment do they provide?
Do they take NHS patients?
Does the staff seem on top of things, or are they a little disorganised?
How is the relationship between the staff who work at the clinic?
How do they treat patients? Are they professional and polite, or rather casual or abrupt?
One final word of caution: when checking with others about possible dentists, you may hear something that puts
you off a certain clinic (such as it being difficult to get an appointment, etc). In these cases, and if the dentist
seems promising, it’s often worth checking things before completely ruling them out. Situations can change
rapidly and what you heard, while true previously, may no longer be the case. As with all professions, dentists
regularly update their approaches, change their working environments, and try out new systems and technology,
so, be sure to check the current situation before ruling out a potentially good dentist.
One of the best ways to see if a particular dental practice provides the types of service you’re looking for is to
check their website.
Things to look for:
Convenient opening times
Areas of speciality
Extensive experience in key areas of importance to you
Information about the team working at the clinic
Visiting specialists (specialist dentists offering the services you are looking for may visit other clinics at
certain times throughout the week/month. If so, consider searching for the visiting dentist's own website
to find out if they would be a good candidates for you)
Articles available on the site (may provide further insight into the strengths of that particular dental
The overall “feel” or tone of the site – do you get the sense that the dentist is open and approachable,
and reaching out to the local community by providing Q&A, a blog, etc, etc?
One thing to consider when visiting dental websites is that many of them tend to be rather "generic" and similar
to the websites of other dentists. Consequently, you may not be able to find some of the specific information
you're looking for, and this can make it difficult to see how one clinic compares with another. In such cases, you
may need to contact the clinic directly, either by telephone or email, to find the specific information that will help
you make an informed decision.
Calling and Emailing
Before calling a dentist to ask questions, make sure you know what information you're looking for and have
your questions written down to avoid forgetting anything. When you've done this, you're ready to make your call.
When you call the clinic, avoid the temptation to
rely on your memory and instead write down the
answers you get. This way you'll avoid forgetting
anything important, or mixing up information for
different clinics. As you listen, new questions may
come to mind: note these down, too, together with
the answers you get.
If you have questions that require specialist
knowledge, you may need to speak to a dentist
rather than another member of staff. Be prepared
to call back at another time (dentists are busy!) or,
alternately, you can ask if it would be acceptable to
email your questions so they can get back to you in
their own time. Some dentists make a point of
being available to answer questions their patients
have, although this may be more common with
high-end, private dentists. If "accessibility" to your
dentist is one of your priorities, consider their
responsiveness to your questions now as a good
indication of what to expect in the future.
If you prefer to use email rather than the telephone, this will often be a better option because the clinic can then
take more time to answer and can respond when things are less busy. The staff may also be able to give you more
specific information than they can by phone as they'll have time to check things in more detail before replying.
One other benefit of email is that you’ll already have all your answers written down for you! But on the other
hand, email tends to be rather impersonal, and you may not be able to get a real feel for the way the staff at the
clinic interact with their patients.
Whichever method you use to find out more about your prospective dentists and their clinics, your aim should be
to weed out any clearly unsuitable candidates. By the end of this step, you'll be left with just a few choices and
will be ready for the next (final) step in finding your dentist.
Step 4: Final Details and Making a Decision
When you've pared your list of prospective dentists down to just a few likely choices, the next thing to do is to pay
each a quick visit. When you arrive, have a look around, meet the staff and ask any final questions you may have.
If you'd like to speak to a dentist in person (and it's often a good idea), make sure you call ahead, otherwise you
may need to come back again later. Although unlikely, if a dentist isn't willing to answer questions you feel are
important, either face-to-face, on the telephone, or by email, you should probably consider looking elsewhere.
After evaluating your final candidates, you should now be left with just one, or maybe two, dentists that you feel
pretty positive about (if not, you'll need to go back and do some more research). Once you've determined which
dentist seems to be the best prospect, the next step is to "put your money where your mouth is" and schedule an
Although every dentist in the UK is fully-qualified after years of training, as with other professions, some dentists
turn out to be more skilled than others. In the absence of publicly available ratings and reviews of UK dentists, the
best way to find if a particular dentist is right for you is to give them a try. The easiest way is to make an
appointment for a basic check-up and cleaning. This will give you the opportunity to get an idea of how it feels to
be treated by the dentist and whether you'd like to continue with him or her later.
During your visit, pay attention to how you feel and are treated. Here are two key things to consider
1. Do you feel you can trust your dentist?
Do you have the general sense that you've found someone that you can trust with your dental care? Without trust
you'll always be wondering whether you're getting the right treatment and will be more likely to avoid regular
check-ups and appointments which can have a profound impact on both your oral and your overall health.
2. Does the dentist listen to you carefully and address your concerns?
Although it's possible that your dentist may be a little too quiet or too chatty for your tastes, this shouldn't be
much of a problem - you probably aren't going to be socialising with your dentist! However, if you do feel that
your dentist doesn't seem to be paying proper attention to you, or hearing what you're saying, you may want to
find a better option.
Overall, if you notice that a sense of trust is missing, and believe things are unlikely to improve in the future, or if
there seems to be something else wrong with the treatment or service you received, it’s probably better to select
another dentist from your list for your next appointment. When it comes to your health, it simply doesn't make
sense to settle for sub-standard care.
If however, everything seems fine and you feel comfortable, that you can trust your new dentist, and can imagine
visiting for check-ups and treatment in the future, then congratulations! You’ve just found your new dentist!
By now you have all the information you need to find an excellent dentist in the Derby area. All that remains is to
go through the steps above, spending as much time on each as you feel necessary for your personal situation.
It’s worth mentioning here that whichever dentist you end up choosing, you are always free to change your mind
and find another if you are not satisfied. The process of changing dentists is straightforward: all that you really
need to do is find a new dentist and then let your old one know that you won’t be coming back. This means that
you'll never need to feel that your options are limited.
Also, remember that you can have more than one dentist if that suits you better, for example: an NHS dentist for
routine check-ups, and a private dentist for more complicated cosmetic work. Or you can have one dentist that
offers both NHS and private treatments.
The most important point to focus on though, is that you get the best dental care possible. As outlined above, the
health of your teeth, gums and jaw can have far-reaching consequences on your overall health, so it just doesn't
make sense to take short-cuts when looking for a quality dentist, even though, surprisingly, this is exactly what
many people do. Whether you're looking for a private dentist, an NHS dentist or a combination of both, you
should be able to find just what you're looking for from the 40 or so dentists to choose from in Derby.
We hope that this guide has made the process of finding a new dentist easier and smoother for you, and wish you
the very best for both your dental and general health here in Derby!
Derby Dentist Guide
The Derby Dentist Guide is a free online resource to help people in Derby find the right dentist, save money on
dental costs and keep up-to-date with the latest trends and news related to dental health.
British Dental Association - Patient Site
British Dental Association (the main professional association/union for dentists) site for patients. Here you can
find information on dental health for children, teens, and adults, as well as background on the dental profession.
British Dental Association - Find a Dentist Site
The BDA's postcode-based resource to help you find NHS/Private/both types of dentists in your area.
British Dental Health Foundation
Independent charity focusing on improving dental health in the UK and overseas. Offers lots of information on
common issues, as well as answers to frequently asked questions.
Dentistry.co.uk - Patient Information
Excellent site for patient-related dental health news and information.
British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
Information and advice for patients seeking cosmetic dental treatment.