If you’ve ever been confronted with a big decision, it can be hard to finally pull the trigger and commit. There are always plenty of great options, but which option is really the right one for you. Choosing a dentist is no different. After all, this is someone who is going to be sticking their hands in your mouth every couple of months, you don’t want someone who you don’t feel comfortable around. For many people, going to the dentist is a bit of an anxiety trip. It’s a necessary evil that is required of us once every six months or so, but it’s one of the best ways to ensure great teeth and overall good dental health. So, how do you go about choosing the right dentist for you and/or your family?
Close to Home
While it may be great to find a dentist in your neighborhood or close to work, that may not always be the case. When you start looking, start with the people that you know best: your family members and friends. Your mother may go to church with someone or your close friend might have a dentist they swear by. It always helps to receive firsthand knowledge when you’re looking for someone in the medical field before you go checking online reviews and social media pages.
You can get more reliable information and determine whether a dentist suits your needs. You may also feel more comfortable entrusting your dental health to someone who’s also trusted by people close to you. After location, you’ll also want to look at some important information about the dentist. What are their hours? Can you set up appointments online or do you need to call in? How long have they been in operation?
Asking these questions will help you decide whether they’re the right choice. You must know crucial information about a dentist to ensure you’d have a stress-free experience every time you visit them.
The Online Route
If you’ve just moved to an area and don’t know that many people, you can start by looking at the American Dental Association’s website for dentists in your area. You can narrow it down by location, specialization and find out any other information about them. If they have a website, you can check them out to learn more about their facilities and rates. Evaluating various clinics online will give you a better idea of whether they’re reliable. Once you have a list, see what the reviews are saying online to see if it would be a good fit.
For the majority of people out there, all they want is a dentist who will do regular cleanings, take care of a cavity and (hopefully not) be able to fix a root canal. But did you know there are many different dentists out there with various specializations? It could be that you are needing dental surgery or maybe braces. Not all dentists are going to be able to help with whatever you want, so it’s wise to be thinking ahead.
It’s advisable to go to a clinic that offers the services you need and may require in the future so you can stick with one dentist. This way, they monitor your dental health and provide treatment without any problems.
You might have found the right dentist quickly, with top recommendations from family and friends. They’re close to your home and have an open appointment time on a perfect day for you. But wait! They don’t take your insurance so you’re stuck paying out of pocket. Unfortunately, not all dentists accept all dental insurances, so you should double and triple checking this before you pay your first visit.
You can ask potential dental clinics if they accept your insurance policy. If not, you may try contacting your insurance provider to ask if they have any dental clinic partners near your location.
Pay a Visit
Before setting up your first appointment, it might be a good idea to check out the dentist’s offices. Is it in a good area? Does their practice look clean and organized? Is the clinic crowded with patients? As stated before, a visit to the dentist can be anxiety inducing for some, so you should find out what they do in order to make sure patients are relaxed and anxiety free before having a seat in the chair. If you’re willing, talk to the staff and dentist there just to see if they are polite, courteous and willing to answer your questions. After all, you may have a poor experience despite a great facility if the staff aren’t accommodating to patients. Remember that first appearances are important and might tell a bigger story than any online review or recommendation from a friend or family member.
Eventually, you’ll have to go for an appointment no matter how much of a great brusher and flosser you actually are. You can visit the clinic for a simple procedure like a dental checkup or cleaning to know how they attend to patients. Remember though, just because you go in for an appointment doesn’t mean that you have to be tied to them for eternity. If they made you feel uncomfortable or you didn’t like the dentist you were with, then it’s perfectly OK to change.
The patient should always feel as comfortable as possible, so if you don’t feel great after your appointment then you should start looking again. It may be a long road, but it’s important for both you and your dental health.