42% of Americans don’t see a dentist as often as they would like to.
Discovery of hidden problems, detection of plaque, tartar, and cavities, and your overall health and well-being are just a few of the reasons going to the dentist regularly is smart.
Regular trips to the dentist can prevent bad breath, dentures, and even sleep problems.
Sadly, one of the main reasons most people avoid the dentist is because they do not have one they like and trust. Many Americans simply don’t know how to find a good dentist.
What is the best way to find a great dentist in your area? Let’s take a look.
1. Go Local
While it may seem obvious, you don’t want to choose a dentist who you will never get the time to see. Check your prospective dentist’s website and make sure they are a short driving distance away from your home or office.
It is also important that your dentist has hours that work for you. If you can only keep regular appointments on the evenings and weekends, be certain that your dentist’s office will be open during those times. Make sure there is access to public transportation or parking nearby.
2. A Matter of Insurance
One way to start finding the right dentist is to ask your insurance company for a list of dentists in your area who accept your plan. Narrow the list down, and try going on social media groups to ask if anyone can recommend one of the professionals you are considering.
Find out if the dentist submits all claims to insurance providers. If you are not insured, ask about credit options.
3. Money Matters
Even if you are insured, you may find that you are responsible for paying for at least some of your treatments.
Before choosing a dentist, try to get estimates for procedures such as fillings, crowns, and root canals. Find out what kinds of payment plans are offered. If you will be using a credit card, find out which ones are accepted.
Ask about any discounts there may be for first-time patients, or if there are any available for referrals.
4. Communication Is Key
You can call the offices of local dentists you are considering in order to get an idea of how you will be treated. The staff should be friendly, knowledgeable, and able to answer your questions and concerns.
If the staff is rude or unfriendly, a first visit may not be necessary.
Be sure to talk to your dentist carefully about questions or concerns. You should feel understood and put at ease, especially if you are anxious about going.
Any procedures should be explained in detail when you ask about advanced dental care. You should also get a schedule of payments. At no time should you ever feel uncertain about what to expect?
Find out about where your dentist was trained. Your dentist’s office should not be uncomfortable giving you information about his or her educational background.
5. Ask Around
You can ask friends, family, and coworkers about their experiences with certain dentists. Find out how long it took them to get an appointment, and whether the dentist was professional and trustworthy.
Go on social media or your dentist’s website and look at reviews. Many people will give detailed accounts of their experiences.
Your local hospital, pharmacist, or general practitioner can likely recommend dentist they trust. You can also check your local dental society’s website, or the website for the American Dental Society, for a list of dentists in your area.
Some local dental schools also have clinics that take new patients. The care given is excellent, and the cost is much lower than it is when you visit a private practice.
6. Check Out the Office
Your dentist’s office should be neat, clean, and well-run. Be sure that you feel confident when you see your surroundings.
Everyone in the office should be in proper attire. Your dentist should be wearing loupes or surgical telescopes.
7. Find Out Who Else Will Be Helping You
When you call to make your first appointment, find out if your dentist works with other specialists. They should, since not every dentist specializes in everything. Ask if the office can provide the names of these specialists.
Find out who will be doing the cleaning when you call. If it is not a hygienist, there may be cause for concern.
When English is not your first language, you will want to find out if anyone else in the office can communicate with you. It is also important to find out if your dentist works with children if you are a parent.
8. Ask About Emergencies
In the event of a dental emergency, your dentist should not be sending you to an emergency room. Before your initial visit, find out what you can do if you have a situation that requires immediate attention.
Your dentist should be available to you at all times, either through an emergency phone number or pager. There should be a colleague they can refer you to if you are not immediately available.
9. Ask About Professional Organizations
Organizations such as the American Dental Association or your state dental organization when you begin your search. While not all qualified dentists are members of these, most will be.
10. Go Regularly
The best way to get great teeth is to keep up with preventative care. Two regular cleanings a year can help you avoid dentures, oral surgeries, and even deep cleanings.
How To Find a Good Dentist
If you are wondering how to find a good dentist, begin by reaching out to your network. Do your homework and find a professional in your area that you feel good working with. Your teeth will thank you.
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