Once you have decided that it is time to find a new dentist and are looking to make an appointment, it becomes necessary to find the right one for your particular situation. Picking a dentist is easier when you know where to start. The American Dental Association (ADA) provides some good information and tips on how to do so. We have summarized them here:
#1. Do a location-based search
It is important to visit the dentist twice per year. This makes it necessary to find a dentist that is located near home or work. Otherwise, it will take far too long to make those appointments and it is unlikely that patients will keep up with them. Convenience is critical when it comes to ongoing dental visits so finding one nearby should be the first thing on the agenda unless a specialist is necessary.
#2. Find one with hours that match your schedule
If a busy work schedule is making it difficult to visit the dentist or doctor, look for a dentist who offers evening or weekend hours. While rare, they do exist. Otherwise, some dentists do offer early morning hours that make it convenient to visit prior to going to work.
#3. Look for an in-network dentist
Insurance companies will designate dentists who are in the network. This means that patients can receive the greatest level of insurance benefits when working with these providers. When saving money is a top concern, it is important to check with the insurance company when picking a dentist. Look to see if a dentist is in the network prior to making an appointment.
#4. Does the dentist speak the same language or is an interpreter available?
Being able to communicate with the dentist is critical and this requires being able to understand and communicate in the same language. Otherwise, finding one that offers interpreter services is wise.
#5. Is this dentist a member of the ADA?
The American Dental Association sets standards that dentists must meet in order to become a member. When a patient is looking for a new dentist, finding one that is a member of the ADA makes it possible to understand the quality of care that is going to be received and the standards that that dentist has committed to meeting.
#6. Do they offer necessary services?
If it is already known that certain procedures are required, such as the need for dentures or dental implants, it is important to look for a dentist who does offer these services. If only a teeth cleaning and exam is necessary, nearly all dentists will offer this service. If something more advanced is required, it is wise to look for a specialist who can take care of the issue. Otherwise, call a dentist office and ask if they do, prior to making an appointment.
Read the full article from the ADA here, http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/dental-care-concerns/how-to-choose-a-dentist
The ultimate goal is picking a dentist that is convenient to get to, will be covered by insurance or offers affordable payment plans and delivers the services that are required to maintain or restore oral health. These tips should help you to find one that you can be confident in.
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