Are you considering a new dentist? Perhaps you’ve moved, switched jobs, or your former dentist doesn’t meet your schedule or needs. Since a dentist-patient relationship is highly personal, don’t make a hasty decision. Here are some suggestions for criteria to look for when you’re considering a new dentist:
1. Check out the prospective dentist’s credentials. Learn the dentist’s qualifications before you decide to see them. Are they a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine)? The degrees are the same, so don’t worry too much about one being better than the other. How many years have they been in practice? Also, determine if they are a member of the American Dental Association. An ADA membership shows high standards for quality care and ethics. Lastly, make sure they don’t have any malpractice lawsuits pending.
2. Ask friends and family members for recommendations. It’s always helpful to have referrals from people you trust, particularly regarding healthcare. Your friends and family can give you an honest depiction of their experiences with the dentist. For example, one dentist could be a fun conversationalist who remembers details about their patients’ lives. Another could be excellent with kids who’re afraid of the dentist.
3. Try before you “buy.” Ask for a consultation before your treatment. Assess the dentist’s communication style and bedside manner. They’ll explain to you their qualifications and the treatments they provide. Determine the chemistry and ability to put you at ease. If you or your kids become anxious about dentists, now is the time to share. MouthHealthy suggests asking questions like:
- How do the dentist and office staff handle emergencies outside of office hours?
- Does the team know your benefit plan? How can you pay for different treatments?
- Will the dentist instruct you on how to maintain preventative oral hygiene?
4. Determine how accessible the practice is. Find out how far the new dentist’s office is from your home or workplace. Sure, one dentist could have rave reviews, but can you manage a 45-minute commute? Check out the office hours to see if they fit with your schedule. Verify if they’re in-network or not.
Visiting a new dentist may feel uncomfortable at first. For over 20 years, we at Foote Family Dental have provided a welcoming atmosphere and built long-term relationships with our patients. Our services include everything from urgent dentistry to Botox for TMJ pain. Contact us today to learn more about our services.