Sometimes, finding a reliable dentist is as simple as choosing the closest location of a practice or brand that you find trustworthy. But most times, you need to do your own research to determine whether that dental team is the right fit for your family. Just as important is finding a good dental practice that you and your loved ones can access conveniently for routine checkups and dental emergencies.
So how do you narrow down your options and choose the right dentist?
8 Things to Look for in a Dentist
The dental team should be aware of the skills and training of their dentists and other available dental professionals, and offer that information willingly to their potential clients to build trust. How else can you be sure that you will get the best possible care? You can also research a dentist’s qualifications from your insurance carrier or the local dental society.
Ongoing Training and Education
You need a dentist who is well-updated on the newest dental technologies, and knows how to apply them properly. One way to check for this is by accessing the type of equipment available at the practice. For instance, digital imaging technology has come a long way, with the newest equipment reducing radiation exposure by 90 percent.
Specialty dentists are usually members of certain reputable organizations, with their names and qualifications listed online for easy access. For instance, you can easily verify that your dentist is licensed by checking his/her name on the state’s dental board website.
Regular dental visits are key to optimal dental health. Finding a dentist who’s close to your home or workplace makes it easier and more convenient to schedule appointments, keep them, and arrive on time.
In addition to choosing a dentist near you, the dental practice must also be open on the days and hours when you and your loved ones are available, without necessarily adjusting your daily schedule too much to make appointments.
It is important that you choose a warm and friendly dental practice. Most family dentists make their offices child-friendly so your little ones are as comfortable as they can be when in the dentist’s chair. The office needs to be clean and modern, and the staff friendly and responsive to ensure a streamlined appointment process.
Just as important is finding a dentist with whom you are comfortable with. One whom you’re not afraid to share your medical history with as this is very important for proper diagnosis and successful treatment. The dentist should listen to you and try to accommodate your concerns and needs when diagnosing problems and recommending interventions.
It is important to research how much it will cost you to consult with the dentist, as well as how much you’re likely to pay for certain procedures and compare the fees. Find out the out-of-pocket payment options offered – personal checks, credit cards; whether your insurance is accepted; available payment plans; possibility for referral to a specialist if your insurance required it; and so on.
To find dentists near you to evaluate, you may ask your family and friends for recommendations, or simply choose one that your dental insurance company works with to take advantage of lower fees.