How to Choose a Dentist

Choose a DentistIt may have been a while since the last dental appointment and a number of different factors could have occurred between that time and now to make it necessary to choose a new dental provider.  Relocation, changes in medical insurance, or simply because of personal preferences it may be time to choose a new dentist.  But what is the best way to pick a top dentist near you?  Here are a few steps to follow when choosing the best dentist to meet any patient’s needs.

What Does Insurance Cover?

Before getting started, understand what the current health plan covers.  Depending on the dental plan, some dental offices may be out of reach if they are not in network.  For instance, if using a dental HMO, only a dentist who is in network can be chosen.  This is why it is so important to contact the health plan directly to confirm dentists near you who accept the plan as well as to determine which procedures and visit types will be covered.

Conduct Research on the Internet

Search engines like Google are perfect starting points for online research.  Thorough research is an excellent first step towards the future of a good dental care routine.  Do not worry about having trouble finding a dentist in the area.  Modern dental practices who are present on the internet will have websites, social media accounts and helpful blog posts that can reveal what it is like to visit their practices.  This can help in narrowing down on who to choose.  To pick the best dentist think about the exact dental needs that must be met.  Is this just a routine cleaning?  Are other more advanced procedures such as cosmetic dentistry like veneers being sought after?  Or is there a lingering problem such as toothache pain or bleeding that must be addressed?  These are just some considerations to keep in mind while conducting online research and which can help in making the best decision.

Ask for Recommendations

Choose a Dentist Recommendations
When searching for a new dentist turn to friends, family, or colleagues for advice.  When asking for recommendations ask them what they like best about their dentist and if they trust the dentist to do the best work.  In some instances, it is even possible to ask a primary care doctor for a referral to someone they highly recommend.  These first-hand accounts of what it is like to visit a particular dentist can help to provide clarity when deciding among a long list of possible dentists in the area.

Are They Accessible?

When choosing a dentist, one of the more obvious questions is whether they are available and can meet the needs of the patient’s schedule?  Everyone has a busy schedule that include many things to do throughout the day.  Therefore, it will be important to find a dentist who has convenient office hours.  While there are some dentists who are only available during the standard hours of 9 to 5, there are others who see patients on the weekend, early morning hours or even through the evening.  The best dentist will have hours that match up to the needs of the patient’s schedule.  Also consider location—how close is the dental practice to the home or workplace of the patient?  These are important consideration to make when choosing a dentist.

Make the First Appointment

Recommendations and research are good, but they can never beat out personal intuition.  Think of the first appointment as taking a new car for a test run.  Ideally, when taking a car for a test drive. things like level of comfort, fine details and affordability are just a few of the considerations that are taken into account.  The same holds true for choosing a dentist.  During the first appointment ask questions, gauge the dentist’s professionalism and demeanor, and confirm that the insurance policy covers their end of the bargain.  All in all, this dentist should be someone the patient can grow to know and trust to handle all of their oral care needs.  A good dentist will be competent, accessible, affordable, and best of all, highly knowledgeable in their field of expertise.

Every patient has their own set of unique dental needs.  Keep these suggestions in mind when choosing a new dentist.  To learn more on how to choose a dentist or to find out how to locate a dentist near you, contact the insurance carrier, ask loved ones, conduct research online, and schedule a first appointment to make the most informed decision possible.

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