Going to the dentist can be a bit unnerving for many people. In the event that you relocate to a new area or your dentist leaves, you will have to strike out on your own to find a new one and that can seem even more daunting.
However, with these helpful tips, finding the right dentist will be a little easier!
- Location and Hours- One of the most important things to look for is a dentist who is located near your home or job. This will cut down on the excuses to not make appointments because it’s “too far.” Also, make sure that the particular dentist has office hours that work with your schedule. Some offices are open Saturdays and later in the evenings. If an emergency were to occur, what is the dentist emergency protocol, as far as, coming to your aide?
- Referrals- Ask people that you trust if they have any suggestions. Co-workers, friends, family, your doctor would all be good people to talk to when beginning your search. Kepp in mind that no professional is going to be able to guarantee 100% satisfaction so once you narrow your search, ask a few people for opinions.
- Services- Make sure the dentist offers the service you may be needing. For example, some dentists offer sedation, orthodontics, periodontics and some just practice general dentistry. If you are needing special attention in one area of your oral health, find out which dentist specializes in that area. Some offices are also combined with chiropractic and massage. If these treatments are of interest to you, you may be able to find an office that provides it all!
- Safety- Do not be afraid to ask the clinical staff as to what methods they use for sanitation and disease control throughout the office.
- Modern- Is the office and technology the top of the line and the newest one can get? Does the dentist and his staff continue their education staying abreast of all the new tools and procedures?
- Patient Responsibility- Inquire as to what the office policies are as far as, no-show or cancelled appointments and preferred forms of payment, etc. This can really have a big effect on the costs and most modern practices will give you SMS and email reminders etc
- Staffing- The type of staff a dentist keeps is almost as important as the dentist himself. The staff should be friendly, kind and understanding of the anxiety many feel while visiting the dentist.
- Health Insurance – check whether your provider offers any no-gap services with your health fund if you have insurance. Most funds have preferred provider systems which will lower your out of pocket expenses.
Once you have determined all of these things and others that may be important to you, you are all set to choose your dentist and be well on your way to improved oral health!