How to Choose a Dentist – Factoring in Cost, Experience, and More
If you’re in the market for a new dentist, perhaps it’s because you’ve been burned in the past. Maybe your previous dentist had poor chairside manner, maybe your former dentist retired, or perhaps you thought the costs were sky-high. Whether you moved or have a desire to find someone who better suits you and your family, below you’ll find some tips designed to help you find the right dentist and how to determine if they’re worth their fees.
Factor in accessibility. Before signing up as a new patient anywhere, determine whether or not you’d like to go to someone that’s close to home or work. Ask yourself how important it will be to have Saturday appointments available. Whoever you decide to meet with, be sure to ask questions and about the factors that are most important to you.
You can shop around. As a prospective patient, you have the right to compare costs. In your research, be sure to ask about approximate costs of routine services such as cleanings and x-rays as well as major procedures that could potentially pop up. Also be sure you know your insurance coverage. If you find a dentist that seems to be more expensive than the others, keep in mind that asking them to explain the difference in their costs is a valid thing to do. It’s possible that they use a different laboratory or it might be the difference in the materials they use.
Don’t base your choice on just price. If you’re comparing costs of dental items such as crowns and bridges or other replacement parts. If you meet with a particular dentist and don’t feel comfortable, then don’t choose to become their patient. You’re going to have this person in your personal space, as well as your family members’ personal spaces. If cost is important to you, try to find the right balance between a dentist that will be both affordable and supportive.
Never underestimate the power of word of mouth. Reach out to family and friends for dentist recommendations. While cost is an important part of the dental evaluation process, you’ll need to have confidence in the staff members, how clean their office is, their training and education, as well as the dentist him or herself. Does he or she focus on their continuing education as a dentist.? Do they seem to be looking out for your best interest or do they just want your money? Find out what the dentist’s philosophy is for improving your smile and keeping your mouth healthy for years to come.
Do your part to keep your teeth healthy. No matter what dentist you choose, he or she can only do so much. When you’re not sitting in the dentist’s chair, be sure to brush, floss, use mouthwash, etc. Avoid acidic and hazardous foods that will tear down the enamel on your teeth. For any invasive procedures, be sure to find out what the warranty or guarantee will be for the work.
Finding the right dentist for you and your family can seem like an intimidating process but it doesn’t have to be. Start off by making a list of the things that are important to you, doing a little research, and meeting with the dentists you’re thinking of going with.