As we head into the last half of 2021, it may be time for you to consider scheduling an appointment for your semi-annual dental checkup. For many, this is a time to change dentists because they have switched insurance companies, moved to a new area, or don’t have a good rapport with their current dentist. Regardless of the reason, you may be wondering how you can go about finding the best dentist in your area to treat you. The following suggestions can help.
Start by Asking For Referrals
When you want to find a dentist, one of the first things you should do is to ask the people you know who live in the same community. In addition to asking relatives and friends about the dentists they use, ask your co-workers and colleagues for recommendations. You can also ask for referrals on your social media pages. By seeking out recommendations from the average person in your life, you’ll get honest opinions that are based upon personal experience. You can find out what they liked most about each dentist and what they didn’t like. You’ll also discover which dentists are used more commonly, and that can suggest someone who provides a higher level of customer service. While you may not want to solely base your decision on recommendations, this is a good starting point for forming a list of potential dentists.
Check With Your Insurer
Once you create a list of potential dentists, you’ll want to start narrowing them down. One factor to consider is whether or not a particular dentist is in your network. While you are free to see dentists outside your network and many dentists accept a broad range of insurances, that option can end up costing you more for treatment. When you see a dentist in your network, preventative care, such as checkups and cleanings, won’t cost you anything out of pocket. Other treatments may save you as much as 50% when compared to the costs associated with an out-of-network dentist. These savings are a result of the contracts dentists have to sign with the insurance company. In part, these contracts obligate the dentist to charge specific prices for certain treatments. An out-of-network dentist may charge extra for lab costs and other aspects of providing the same services.
Consider Geographic Location
Another thing to consider as you look for a new dentist is their location since you may need treatment that will prohibit you from driving. It will be easier to get a ride home from the dentist’s office if you choose someone who has an office close to your home. Additionally, a shorter car ride is easier after you have undergone oral surgery. Although these incidences are few and far between, you’ll want to be able to get home quickly when they do occur. It’s easier to stop by for a quick checkup on your way home from work if you don’t have to drive too far out of your way. For many people, a convenient location is a big perk in choosing the best dentist for them.
Consider Hours of Operation
As you consider the remaining dentists on your list, you should look into the hours of operation for each dentist. You may experience a dental emergency that occurs outside normally accepted business hours. You’ll want to ensure you can see your dentist for an emergency anytime of the day or night. Another thing to consider is your own work schedule. If you also work normal business hours between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, you’ll want to see a dentist who has hours outside of that time frame. A dentist who is open on the weekends and in the evenings may offer better service for your situation. If you’re not sure if a dentist offers evening or weekend hours, be sure to ask. They may offer the opportunity to schedule appointments in the evenings or on the weekends even though they’re not normally open during these hours.
Consider the Services Provided
Some dentists provide basic care themselves and refer their patients to specialists for services such as cosmetic dentistry or oral surgery. Other dentists are qualified and experienced in offering a broader range of services. This may be a preferable option if you prefer to receive treatment from a single individual. If oral care already causes you to feel apprehensive or nervous, you may want someone who can treat any condition you experience. The familiarity that develops between you and your dentist can provide you with a more personalized experience. A dentist who knows you well will also know how to help you feel more relaxed during the procedure so you’ll have a more positive experience.
Visit Each Dentist
Another good way to find a dentist is to visit dental care offices in your community. This gives you an opportunity to see what you’ll experience as a patient. Pay attention to the waiting area and the receptionist counter to assess the comfort the staff provides to patients. Is the waiting area stocked with magazines and toys for children? What type of decor is on the walls. You should pay attention to how the staff treats you as well. You won’t want to feel as though you’re wasting their time. Avoid offices in which the staff seems rushed or impatient.
Tour the Treatment Areas
During your visit, you should also ask to schedule a tour of the office. You’ll want to see that the treatment rooms are clean, private, and stocked with equipment that’s in good condition. You should also schedule a visit with the dentist to see if you develop a good rapport. If you feel distrusting of the dentist, you should consider resuming your search. You’ll want a dentist who inspires you with confidence and one who has a personality that you find appealing.
A more convenient option in searching for a dentist is to visit denTEL online. This is a place for patients to find dentists in their local areas and learn more about them. It also provides an opportunity for dentists to connect with potential patients in a more direct forum. Each dentist’s profile is a complete overview of the professional and the services they provide. The interactions and information that users get when they explore denTEL will help connect people with the dentists best qualified to handle their particular oral care needs.