How to Choose a Dentist
If you are wondering how to choose a dentist, you are already on track to improving your oral health. Finding a dentist and scheduling the first appointment is a critical step to keeping teeth and gums healthy today and in the future. Now, the challenging part is finding the right dentist that can care for you and your family. Here are a few tips and suggestions for doing so.
#1. LOOK AT THEIR PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
Before visiting a dentist, make sure that they are licensed and certified by the state board. It is rare to find one who is not, but it is still a good idea to take the time to double-check. Just like most homeowners check a contractor’s license prior to letting them remodel the bathroom, it is always prudent to check the license of a health professional prior to visiting them for an examination.
#2. CONSIDER THEIR MEMBERSHIPS
Membership in certain professional associations will tell a great deal about a dentist. Those who practice a specialty may become members or receive additional certifications from organizations that focus on a particular type of dental care as well.
#3. VISIT THE OFFICE TO SEE IF IT IS A COMFORTABLE SETTING
It is important to be comfortable when you choose a dentist so the office setting will set the stage for whether or not the appointment goes well or is stressful. Be sure to visit the dentist office or at least look at pictures prior to scheduling an appointment to ensure that the overall atmosphere is clean, comfortable and in line with expectations and personal preferences.
#4. ASK ABOUT COSTS, FEES AND INSURANCE
Find out if the dentist accepts the insurance policy you are on. It is also wise to ask a few questions about costs and fees to ensure that it is affordable and in keeping with what works for your budget. If it is necessary to pay something out-of-pocket, ask if the dentist offers credit or payment plans.
#5. FIND OUT IF THEY OFFER EMERGENCY CARE
It is impossible to know when an emergency situation will arise and care will be necessary on the evenings or weekends. Finding out if a dentist has emergency hours or offer solutions in the event of an emergency is wise. This way if anything happens to the family, a provider is available to assist.
#6. OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Ultimately, it is important to visit a dentist who is going to make a patient feel comfortable and who is located in a convenient area with convenient office hours. Otherwise, a patient may no longer go. This makes simple things like how long it takes to see the dentist after the scheduled appointment time incredibly important. It is also important to feel confident in a dentist’s skills and ability so if the first appointment does not go well.
Do not worry about scheduling an appointment with somebody else. The goal is to find a dentist that a patient is comfortable with and confident in so that the appointments will be ongoing.
For more information on how to choose a dentist, call our office at (510) 848-3143