Dentists: How To I Find One?

There is little question that selecting the right dentist to serve you and your family is simply such an important decision to be made. So in making that decision, just what should you be seeking in evaluating dentists?

The American Dental Association or ADA offer the following suggestions:

  • Get some recommendations from family members, neighbors, friends, and co-workers.
  • Check with your local pharmacist or family doctor.
  • If you are relocating your home, seek a recommendation from the dentist you have currently been seeing.
  • Get in touch with your state or local dental society. On its consumer website which is www.mouthhealthy.org, a list of state and local dental societies is provided by the ADA. You may also find some suggestions listed in the telephone directory under either “associations” or “dentists” for state and local dental societies.
  • The ADA also suggests that before you make your selection, you visit or call more than only one dentist.

All of these suggestions are very valuable and important to be thought through, but when taking into consideration your healthcare plan and daily life activities, what are some other things you should be thinking about in the selection process for finding the best dentist for you?

We have put together a list of 10 important things for you to ponder in your determination to make the proper choice:

Get started by making up a list of three to four dentists based on several things:

1) To all insurance providers, do they submit claims?

If you receive a high recommendation for a dentist from a family member or a friend, but he is out of your network, get in touch with their office and inquire whether or not they submit claims to all insurance providers. The majority of dentists do, making this question so important to be posed before you would eliminate them from your list.

2) For non-insured patients, do they offer any other payment options?

A very big consideration for you should you not currently carry dental insurance will be whether the practice does or does not offer any other options of financing such as Springstone or Credit Care. You must remember that paying up front is what is demanded by many practices, so having a method to pay for the services needed will make certain you receive whatever treatments are necessary.

3) Do they belong to a professional association like the American Dental Association or perhaps the Wisconsin Dental Association?

As a condition of membership in the association, ADA members agree to abide by the ADA Code, which has three primary components. Included in these components are The Principles of Ethics, The Advisory Opinions, and the Code of Professional Conduct. You can go to the WDA Code of Ethics to gain further information.

4) What are the location of the office and their hours of practice?

Does this office and the timing of their practice fit in with your schedule? Are they located anywhere close to either your work or your home? Are they available to you either early in the morning or later in the afternoon or evening? Always remember that making it to your regular appointments is critical to your efforts to maintain healthy teeth and gums, so the location and hours available are simply so important to you.

5) Are any new patient specials offered by the practice and do they offer anything to current patients that show their appreciation for their business?

For new patients, there are a lot of practices that do extend some sort of introductory discount on exams and cleanings. And very often these practices have some sort of promotion they also offer to current patients that show them their appreciation for their ongoing business.

Well, now that you have put together a little list, the next step is to call prospective candidates, ask whatever questions you have on your mind, and perhaps make an appointment to check out the facility and then meet the dentist in person. At that point, here are some things to look for and ask about:

6) To help the patient feel more comfortable in the chair, what is the dentist’s approach?

You also want to know just what sort of anesthesia the dentist is certified to administer to you.

7) You would like to know just what continuing education and ongoing training the doctors participate in so you are comfortable that they are up on dental cares latest advancements.

8) In the case of an emergency, just what happens?

Does the practice have emergency hours in place, or would you be referred to another place if one should occur?

9) Are plans for treatment discussed up front and costs for these plans explained?

You will want to know at the start just how many visits will be involved in your treatment, how much they will cost, and just how long everything will take. Besides, you want to be certain that any other questions you have are answered and explained to you.

10) Carefully look the office over.

Is the office reasonably neat and orderly? Is the staff welcoming and friendly? During patient treatment, are dentist and staff wearing protective gear and gloves?