All dentists are not created equal. As in any profession, there will be dentists that are more and less equipped to give your oral health the quality of care you deserve.
Whether you’re having trouble finding a dentist that uses techniques that work for you or simply don’t click with your current dentist on a personal level, these simple tips will help you find the right dentist for you and your family.
1. Find Out About Their Education
One of the most basic things that you can find out about a potential dentist is their education. Not only should you ensure that any dentist you choose is qualified to work in the state or country where you live, you should also pay particular attention to whether they have pursued additional education or qualifications.
A dentist who has an ongoing commitment to their education will have learned about the latest, most advanced dental techniques. They also may have additional qualifications that make them a better fit for you, such as specializations in oral surgery or cosmetic dentistry.
2. Consider Their Dental Approach
As Enamel Dentistry, a dentist in Austin, TX, says, a good dentist should provide “deliver quality, personalized care.” This means that you and your dentist should have the same approach towards your dental health.
This includes ensuring that you and your potential dentist will be on the same page when it comes to who will be making major decisions about your oral health care, how often you will be in contact with your dentist, and whether your dentist’s approach to patient interaction meshes with your preferred type of interaction.
No matter what your preferences, you need to find a dentist who will work well with you.
3. Figure Out the Practicalities
There are, of course, a myriad of practicalities that you are going to have to consider when choosing a dentist. These are factors that you should consider before committing to any dentist.
You should choose a dentist that is close where you live or work. You should ensure that you will be able to work in an appointment when they’re open. You should also ensure that a potential dentist takes your insurance and offers financing options that work for you.
These practicalities may seem obvious, but they are essential to ensuring that your first choice dentist is going to be right for you.
4. Consider Your Finances
While dental fees vary wildly depending on the amount and type of work you need done, there are a few ways to find out if your finances and a potential dentist will be able to coexist.
One great way to compare the dental fees is to call around and compare fees for several different procedures. You should choose a wide variety of common and uncommon procedures that you believe will be at varying prices in order to get a good idea of what you will be expected to pay in different circumstances and which dentists offer the best value.
You shouldn’t just consider finances, of course, but it’s an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to your overall dental care.
5. Stake Out
Go to the offices of a few dentists on your shortlist to get a feel for how they operate. You can tell a lot about the attitude and type of care you’ll be getting by looking around the lobby and waiting room of a dentist office.
Consider the cleanliness and ambiance of the waiting room, the attitude of the receptionist, and how comfortable the other patients seem. You should also take the time to ask any questions you have at this point in the process and study the responses.
A staff that seems welcoming and open indicates that the attitude towards dental care is the same, while rushed or annoyed staff means that the office may be understaffed and dysfunctional.
6. Make an Appointment
Finally, you should make an initial appointment with your first choice of dentist. This is an opportunity to decide whether you like the dentist’s rapport and attitude.
It’s also an opportunity for your potential dentist to give you an idea of what kind of care they would plan on giving to you. If you’re unsure about that particular dentist, don’t be afraid of booking an appointment with other dentists on your shortlist.
Thanks for the tip that my own finances will also matter a lot when deciding which dentist to go to. One of my teeth recently got chipped while I was eating popcorn the other night. I think it would be best to get it removed instead because a huge chucked of it was chipped off already.