Choosing a dentist for you and your family is not a decision to be made by simply throwing in some search terms in Google and going with the first listing that shows up. This is an important decision that requires careful consideration. Sure, you are never locked into your choice, and can always change, but it would still behoove you to do your homework and make a choice with confidence. Here are just a few helpful hints to aid you on your search for the right dentist.
Check Your Insurance
Your search for a dentist may be limited based on your insurance. If you have an HMO plan, you can only choose a dentist in that network, if you want insurance to cover it at least. If you have a PPO, your choice of dentist can impact your co-payment levels. If your search is more open, then it is imperative you find out if the dentist accepts your insurance…don’t make any assumptions.
Where to Start Your Search
You can never go wrong with asking people for recommendations, but you still want to do your homework. Don’t just go with any dentist because someone else recommended him…depending on your needs, he may not be the best fit for you personally.
Consider what sort of services you require. For example, if you are looking for dental services for the whole family that would be a different set of considerations than just for yourself. Whether you are looking for a dentist in Summerville, SC or Sacramento, CA, check out the sites of organizations such as the Academy of General Dentistry, The American Dental Association, or a local dental society to find dentists in your area.
Consider when you are most likely to make appointments to determine if it is better to choose a dentist that is closer to your home or your place of work. Are Saturday hours important? What is your degree of flexibility when making an appointment? If your schedule is more rigid, and you don’t have a lot of flexibility, it is important you talk to the staff to get an idea if you will be able to get appointments when you typically need them.
Schedule a Consultation
When you have narrowed down the possibilities, schedule a consultation to get some face time with the dentist and check out the office. See whether you feel comfortable with the dentist, and if he takes the time to answer your questions. Does he seem like the type of person you can trust? Inquire about what services are performed at the office and which ones are referred out. Is the staff friendly and efficient? Is the office clean? Is the equipment modern?