Finding a good Dentist for you and your family is not difficult; but, you do need to research and ask questions. Sitting through dental checkups, poking around in your gaping mouth, drilling and grinding is not pleasant. Nevertheless, there are ten very simple steps that virtually guarantee success. The next two tips are where the real homework begins. How do I find a good Dentist? You need gather your resources and narrow the field. What should I ask before my first visit? Be prepared. Ask key questions first, and a satisfying relationship with your Dentist will follow Learn this.
I. How do I find a good Dentist?
If you have Dental Plan insurance, check to see if your plan requires choosing from a list of participating Dentists to receive benefits. Some plans require you use a participating Dentist. Some insurance plans allow you to choose an out-of-network Dentist, but often your benefit will be less if you do this.
Do your homework prior to selecting a Dentist. Start by asking your family: Which Dentist do they use? Why?
There’s absolutely nothing better than a trusted referral! Ask your friends, your coworkers, fellow parishioners. Whichever Dentist your trusted circle of friends use has already earned their trust, and there’s a good chance that this Dentist will treat you similarly.
Family physicians and local pharmacists may also make good referrals. When moving, ask your current Dentist for a suggestion.
You could browse newspaper ads, or flip through Yellow Pages spreads; but, anybody can place an ad and there’s no way to tell from an advertisement how well you’ll be treated.
Some people have had good luck calling 1-800-DENTIST — a telephone referral system through which you can ask a lot of questions, and glean a great deal of information about any given Dentist.
Perhaps, the best way to research and find a good Dentist is to search the Internet. Go online to search the American Dental Association’s http://ada.org Web site. Contact your local or state dental society to find a Dentist in your area.
II. What should I ask before my first visit?
It makes sense to select and become acquainted with a Dentist before a dental emergency arises. After completing your research, call a Dentist for an appointment. Now is the time to ask specific questions:
What are the office hours — is the Dentist available when you’re available?
Does the dental staff use universal precautions for infection control, such as gloves, masks, protective clothing and sterilized instruments and work areas?
If you call the practice with a problem, can you speak to the Dentist? Are there established times for calls to and from the Dentist? Are telephone calls returned the same day?
What is the protocol for patients who have emergencies during office hours, after office hours, or when the Dentist is away?
Are patients notified when it’s time for a checkup? Some practices will make a reminder call the day before a scheduled appointment; this can be a very helpful service.
What kinds of Dental health instruction and education does the Dentist offer?
How much does it cost? What are the fees for standard treatments such as x-rays and cleaning?
What are terms of payment? Is payment requested at each visit or will the Dentist file a claim with your insurance company and bill you for the balance?
What forms of payment are accepted?
Do they accept your Dental insurance plan?
What are the limitations of Dental insurance coverage?
Do I need a special Dentist for me, my family or my children?
When you are satisfied with answers to these questions, you are prepared to be satisfied with your Dentist.