When to Choose a Dentist
The “when” of choosing a dentist is easy to say and comprehend, but much more difficult in real life. When is, or should be, before you need a dentist! If you’ve lived in the same place for awhile, you should have this taken care of. If not, do your research online and ask a lot of friends for recommendations, but whatever the case, get it done. The worst time to look for a dentist is when you need one. When you broke a tooth or have a painful tooth ache, that’s not the time. When your son or daughter crashes their bike and bumps their favorite set of teeth against the handlebar, that’s not the time to look for a dentist. Start looking now.
There’s a number of things to look for but mention the term “dentist” to anybody and the first response is usually fear. Pretty much everybody has some level of fear when it comes to visiting a dentist so it makes sense to find one that you are comfortable with so you are more likely to actually make the visits! So, at the top of the list should be comfort. Comfort for you and the rest of the family. And this isn’t just about the dentist, it’s about the facility and the staff as well. Visit the office and meet the staff – see how you get along. How comfy you feel in the office and talking to the staff. Observe how they treat the other customers – is that how you want to be treated when you come in for a visit? How does the dentist respond to questions? Does he explain fully in terms you understand or does he rattle off “doctor talk” and treat your questions with indifference? How does the dentist work with kids? Is he gentle? …rough? …uncaring? How’s the waiting room? Comfy?
After the comfort factor, or alongside it, should be competence. You don’t want some hack working on your mouth. You certainly don’t want some hack working on your kid’s mouth. So do the research, ensure state licensing is active, ensure there are no disciplinary actions pending or in the dentist’s past.
Next would be fees and insurance. The fees for any given procedure will vary from dentist to dentist but on the whole, they’re usually in the same ballpark. You’re going to pay the same range for a tooth extraction. What’s important here is your insurance and if the dentist takes it. And the payments after the insurance is figured in. Make sure you fully understand your coverage and the accepted costs associated with that coverage as well as the deductibles you’ll be responsible for.
After comfort, competence and fees, you want to consider things like the location of the office, the office hours, what days your specific dentist works in that specific office as they often bounce from office to office depending on the day of the week and how busy they are (can you even get an appointment?).
I hope this helps a bit – the most important part is that you get it started and finish it. Find a dentist now, don’t wait until you need one. Find one that you are comfy with, that is good at what they do, and that has agreeable fees and takes your insurance.