Tips for Choosing a Dentist
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.
How to Choose a Dentist
When you’re looking for a new dentist, you’re searching for more than someone to just clean your teeth. “Your dental health is such a vital part of your overall health, so it’s important for every patient to have a dental home,” says Dr. Cathy Taylor-Osborne, an ADA dentist and director of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Bureau of Oral Health. “That means there is always someone looking out for the best interest of you and your family.”
Start with the Basics
Regular visits are key to a healthy smile, so start with the details that work best with your lifestyle and dental care needs. Some things to consider include:
Is the office easy to get to from your home or job?
Do they have convenient office hours?
If you have dental benefits, is this dentist in your network?
Doctor-patient communication is very important. Do you need translation or interpreter services?
Is the dentist a member of the ADA? (Learn about the 5 promises all ADA dentists make to their patients.)
Launch the Search
Now that you’re looking for a dentist, you’re probably noticing advertisements online, in the newspaper and even in your mailbox. Social media sites may also have patient reviews of dentists near you, but remember that every person’s dental health needs and experiences are their own.
Meet and Greet
To find the right dentist, don’t be shy about calling or visiting the dentists on your list before deciding. “Schedule consultation time with the dentist to meet with the dentist and staff before making an appointment,” Dr. Taylor-Osborne says. “Make a list of questions and bring your records so the dentist can take a look at your dental history if you want to ask something more specific.” You’ll also be able to see if the office is welcoming, comfortable and neat.
Pick a Partner
Above all, you want to choose a dentist who can be a part of your total health care team. “So much of your dental health can impact your overall health,” Dr. Taylor-Osborne says. “Look for someone who can be a coach to motivate you, a trusted advisor to turn to when health issues arise and a partner to make dental care decisions with.
How to Find a Good Dentist
Overwhelmed by your pick of dentists? Want to make sure you know how to find a good dentist? I’m confident you will have the tools you need to choose the perfect dentist’s office by the end of this article. We’ll talk about what you need to know before selecting a new dentist, ways to find a great dentist, the right kind of questions to ask, and even how to spot a bad dentist.
Is this provider in your dental insurance network?
US readers: dental insurance, particularly for preventative dental care (such as cleanings), may be a factor in choosing a dentist. Since it doesn’t work the same way as medical health insurance, I’ve outlined a few ways to understand working with a new dental practice below based on your insurance status.
What if I’m satisfied with my current dentist, but they’re not in my network?
Keep going to the dentist you love! To understand why this is probably the best choice, it’s important to know that dental prices are not standardized like medical charges.
Here are the two options I would recommend, in this order:
Show them your new dental insurance plan to find out if they’re willing to accept whatever the insurance company is willing to pay, then write off the rest. The downside to this is that you could eat up the cap on your dental insurance benefits for the year, which isn’t great if you have major work needed.
Ask for an “in-network fee schedule.” That schedule is set up to normalize every dental billing code and how much they agree to make from every insurance company for those codes. Most offices are willing to accept this, and it means you’ll pay similar prices with your existing dentist as you would by switching to an in-network provider.
What if I want to find a functional dentist, but don’t see one in my list of participating providers?
If your insurance doesn’t cover your ideal functional dentist, you may still be able to find a dentist with similar ideals. Even if a dentist isn’t classified as a “functional” dentist or registered with that kind of academy of dentistry, dentists should all be familiar with the way diet influences dental health as well as the mouth-body connection. By asking questions about these issues up front, you may be surprised to find a dentist who takes a more functional approach than you first expect.
How to choose a good dentist
Choosing the right dentist and dental practice is an important decision. This blog outlines the 5 most important points to consider if you need to choose a new dentist. With a little research and knowing the right questions to ask, you should be able to choose a trusted dentist who will care for you and your family for many years to come.
Qualifications and training
All dentists must successfully complete five years of undergraduate training and have a Bachelor of Dental Surgery, with the letters “BDS” or “BChD” after their name. Dental clinicians must also attend regular training to keep their skills and techniques up-to-date. When choosing a dental practice, look for evidence of extra qualifications, skills and interests in specialist areas. Some dentists may have additional expertise in a specialist area, such as caring for anxious patients or offering particular types of cosmetic dentistry. Look out for evidence of their qualifications and skills, or ask the dental practice if unsure.
The dental practice and the dental team
The dental practice you choose should be clean, tidy and well-organised, with welcoming and helpful practice staff. Your dentist should always be professional, approachable, patient and sympathetic with all types of patient, and you should feel comfortable to ask him or her any questions you may have.
Convenient hours and location
Choosing a dental practice which is easy and convenient for you to travel to from home or work will make attending regular checkups easier and help you arrive on time. You may want to look out for a practice offering lunchtime or late appointments if you work full-time. Most practices will also accommodate family bookings, so if you have children, you can all be seen at the same time.
How to Choose a Dentist
Your smile plays a big role in making first impressions, so you should do whatever it takes to preserve healthy teeth. A good choice of dentist is key to maintaining that smile, but how do you know you are going to the right dentist? Whether you are looking for a dentist for the first time or you have just relocated and are in need of a new dentist, finding a great one just requires a little research and a preliminary visit.
Ask people you know for a recommendation. Friends, family, co-workers and neighbors are great resources when you need to find a service care provider. You might also ask your doctor or pharmacist
Look online. Find a dentist near you who is a member of the American Dental Association by visiting their website. You can also find dentists through the online yellow pages and other advertising sites.
Call a health care organization for a referral. Your health insurance provider can likely provide a list of dentists participating in their coverage. You can also call faculty members at a dental school, if there is one near you, or a local hospital to see if they have an accredited dental service.
Make sure they take your health care plan. If you have dental insurance, be sure to ask any prospective dentists if they accept your plan. Many smaller companies have a limited number of participating dentists, and dental work can be extremely expensive