Dental Guides

Don't Choose A Dentist Before Reading This

A lot of the time, when it comes to talking about dentists, most people don’t think about things until something goes wrong, and this is the wrong perspective to have. Oral health isn’t only a major part of your daily comfort, but also factors into your health in other ways. This means that taking the time to choose a dentist who meets the needs of you and your family is always time well spent—here’s how to do so effectively.

The Planning Stage

In many ways, people who are looking for dentists these days are lucky. Rather than having to rely on the Yellow Pages, there are all types of online platforms that let you not only see what services dentists offer, but also get opinions from others on how effective they are. The catch here, though, is that you need to be sure that you’re looking at opinions that are valid. This is why, ideally, the first place you may want to start is by getting recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues you trust. These are the people who know what you are looking for, and if they have someone in mind who fits what you’re looking for, you may save yourself a lot of trouble.

Once you move beyond this point, you want to start thinking about some of the basic criteria that your dentist needs to meet. The first thing that comes to mind is cost as well as insurance. You want to know what your insurance covers and what your budget is to spend on dental care, so you don’t get a nasty bill surprise later or end up finding a dentist you love, but can’t afford. Another thing that you want to know right away is the type of dentistry that you need. If you’re in generally good dental health and just need a checkup every now and again, a general dentist practice should be fine. But do you have certain special needs? What about family? This will guide your hand.

There are other, smaller factors worth considering as well in this initial planning stage. For example, geography plays a major role, but it’s not as simple as looking for dentists in your city. Stanton Smiles in Miami may be a great match for Miami patrons, but you also want to consider where in town it is in relation to your home or workplace. Is traffic going to pose a potential issue? Ideally, you want your concern to be your teeth, not getting to the dentist’s office on time.

The Selection Stage

At this point, you should ideally have a list of criteria in your head, as well as a shortlist of dentists in your area that meet those basic needs. Now, the time has come to do some basic selection. You can start by revisiting these dentists’ online presence. While everything needs to be taken in context, if you see a large amount of overwhelmingly negative reviews or several negative reviews hovering around the same issue, you may want to look elsewhere.

Another good thing to do is try to have an “interview” of sorts with your prospective dentist or someone on their staff who normally handles new client concerns. There are a lot of little details you don’t pick up from a website or online review that you may want answered. Examples include seeing how the office looks, figuring out how friendly the staff are, or checking out how organized the operation is. These little details can cause big issues later on if the dentist’s office is lacking. This also gives you the opportunity to ask for more details on other things, like the dentists’ background and expertise.  Another thing you may want to add to your interview is your own medical history.

A major reason for this is the growing link between oral health and a variety of other bodily conditions. In some cases, we know the reasons why, but in others, we don’t. It may be a good idea to bring up some of your other health history to determine if your prospective dentist is used to dealing with similar situations and if it will impact your care at all. Finding your ideal health practitioner in any case is a marathon, not a sprint, so don’t be surprised if you have to go through this a few times. However, it’s better to do that now than constantly be switching later because you’re upset with a situation.

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