It is so important to have somewhere to go to keep your teeth healthy and in good condition, but how do you know that the dentist you’re seeing is the right one for you? Following are several things to consider when you’re looking for a good new dentist.
Location and Business Hours
Setting up appointments and arriving on time will be a lot easier for you if you choose a dentist that is in the same area as your home and work. It is also a good idea to check their office hours, to make sure that they will be open when you might need to schedule an appointment. Most dentists publish their hours on their website (example here) so it’s always a good idea to check there first.
Costs vary from practice to practice, so get estimates of what they charge for normal procedures. Find out if they offer different payment options like credit cards, and payment plans. Is your insurance accepted by the new dentist, and will he/she provide you with referrals to specialists, if it’s a requirement of your insurance company? It is important to find out as much as you can about costs, since you could pay part of them out of your own pocket, even if you do have a dental insurance.
Do You Feel at Ease With the Dentist?
One of the most important things you need to take into consideration when you’re choosing a new dentist, is whether or not you feel comfortable in their presence. Is the dentist understanding about your concerns, and does he/she take the time to let you explain your symptoms, and answer any questions you might ask? Do you feel comfortable enough with the dentist to say that you’re scared, want to know details about a procedure, or ask for pain killers?
Is the Dentist Adequately Qualified?
The staff should be willing to let you know what training the dentist has had, and also about their policies regarding infection control. If they show signs of being uncomfortable to talk about these things, then it’s best to find another dentist. The majority of dentist organizations have lists of their members as well as their qualification, or you can find out this information from your insurance carrier, or your local dental society.
Does the Dentist Offer Emergency Care?
Find out what would happen if you have a dental emergency at any hour of the day or night. Your dentist should be available at any time via cell phone, pager, or an answering service, and should not at any time, tell you to go to the local hospital emergency rooms.