Posted November 7, 2019
Do you need to find a new dentist? Maybe you’ve moved, switched jobs or just want to make a change. Since there are many dental offices to choose from, don’t wait until you have tooth pain to pick one. Here are five tips for choosing a dentist.
Consider office location and hours
Most people choosing a dentist look for a dental office close to their home or work. They find it easier to schedule appointments before going to work, during lunch, or later in the day when they’re headed home. Look for dentists in your preferred area. Then check the office hours to make sure they fit your schedule.
Check patient reviews
Read reviews of the dentists on your list. Make sure to read the comments posted by patients. Also ask your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers or doctor for feedback on choosing a dentist. And find out who they prefer.
Review office websites
Most dentists have a website with information about their office, along with pictures, policies, philosophy and background information. Review the information, looking for answers to these questions:
• What is the dentist’s philosophy about dental care, including the use of medications to help you relax during treatment?
• What is the office policy on missed appointments?
• After dental services are performed, when is payment due?
• If you have dental insurance, does the dentist accept your plan? Is the dentist listed as “in-network” or “out-of-network”? Learn more about dental insurance terms and definitions.
• Review the fees for dental procedures. How do they compare with other dentists you’re considering?
If you can’t find answers to these questions, call the office and talk with the office manager. Choosing a dentist who meets your needs will save you time and money in the long run.
Swing by for a visit
After identifying your top choices, stop by each office for a quick visit. Is there plenty of parking? It is easily accessible? As you enter the office, look around. Is the office clean and organized? Are the dentist and team members friendly and helpful? Do you feel welcome and comfortable there? If you can, meet the dentist or hygienist. After your visits, make a list of pros and cons for each office to help you in choosing a dentist.
Schedule an exam appointment
Pick your favorite dental office and schedule an appointment for a checkup and cleaning. Ask the dentist for a complete report on your oral health. Be suspicious if the dentist recommends a long list of treatments, such as new fillings, crown replacements or oral surgery. Request a written treatment plan. If it seems unreasonable, get a second opinion from another dentist. If you’re not comfortable with your experience, look for another dentist.
Your dentist should be a trusted professional you can count on. You’ll want to look forward to your dental visits, not dread them. By keeping your mouth healthy with regular dental visits, you are helping to maintain your overall health. To save money, read this blog for tips on how to lower dental costs.