There are many factors to consider when choosing a dentist. First and foremost, you should take into account where the dental practice is located, and if the office is convenient to your home or workplace. Also, don’t forget to check into the business hours to make sure they fit with your schedule. Is the dentist’s office open five days a week? Do they have early morning or lunchtime hours so that you can make dental appointments around your work schedule?
The next step is to schedule a consultation with the two to three dentists you have identified as the best candidates. It is important that any dental practice you choose be focused on preventative care. The main reason to have regular dentist appointments is to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and to keep any significant problems at bay. During this initial visit, check out the facilities and meet the dental hygienist(s) as well as any of the other office staff. Ask lots of questions, including how many years the dentist(s) in the practice has been in business. You may even wish to know where he or she went to dental school. Do they offer any cosmetic dentistry procedures? Finally, are the dentists members of the American Dental Association? The ADA is known as “Americas leading advocate for oral health care.”
Another factor to consider is the cost of the dental practice’s services. Don’t be afraid to ask for some sort of price list. Though this is not the most important part of your decision making process, it is certainly something to take into account when shopping for a dentist. Also, along these same lines, find out what dental insurance policies they accept and how their filing process works. Both of these items will be quite helpful when comparing dental practices.
Perhaps the best way to determine if a particular dentist is right for you is by checking out their reputation via referrals. Their clientele is a great way to learn how this practice treats its patients. Ask around to your friends and family to find out which dentists they use, of course, but you can also find a wealth of information about any individual dentist or dental practice right on the Internet.
One final point that may not be top of mind, but is crucial information nonetheless, is to find out the dental practice’s emergency procedures. What happens if you break a tooth or have severe oral pain in the middle of the night or over the weekend? Does the office you are considering have an on-call dentist? Perhaps they even share call rotation with another dental practice. This is good information to know in the event you should ever need after hours care.
For most of us, going to the dentist does not top our list of favorite activities, but it is a crucial part of your overall health. For this reason, you want to pick a dental practice where you and your family will feel comfortable for years to come.