For some people, the search for a regular dentist can be just as arduous of a process as actually going to the dentist. There’s no shame in this. After all, dental care is an intimate process that thrives when the development of a trusted bond is cultivated over time. Fortunately, the journey to finding the right dentist for you isn’t as difficult as you may think. All it takes is a few easy-to-follow, sensible steps to lead you to the right office.
Use the ADA as a Resource
The American Dental Association is more than the country’s most well-known source for information relating to dental health. It’s also the ultimate database to help you locate a skilled, ethically-driven dentist. The ADA’s website hosts a list of various state and regional dental societies, and this list can help you whittle down your search to a nice, manageable selection of potential dental practitioners in a very efficient manner.
Understand your Dental Benefits
Once you’ve assembled a roster of worthy dental candidates, you’ll then want to comb over your dental benefits to weed out the dentists that may not accept your plan. For instance, if you’re a member of an HMO network, you’ll probably eliminate dental practices that only accept PPO plans. Other factors such as co-payment levels and services covered could also play vital roles in determining which dentist may be a good fit for you.
The Power of Personal Recommendations
Chances are, you’re surrounded by friends and family members that you’ll go to when you need a solid recommendation for a good auto mechanic or a trusted electrician. Why should a dentist be any different? Solicit your collection of trusted loved ones to see if they go to a dentist that fits your criteria. Granted, doing this won’t automatically eliminate all of the homework needed to procure a trusted dentist. However, it can provide you with the kind of open, honest feedback that you may not get by looking at an aggregate review site. This realm of inquisition could also be expanded to include trusted industry professionals that you may already have in your life, like a family physician or a local pharmacist.
Other Determining Factors
It’s wise to determine other elements not necessarily linked to the action of dental practice to make an informed dentist choice. Factors like distance from work or home, average wait time, and hours of operation should also be scrutinized. Spending too much time and effort to get into the dentist’s chair may lead you to dreading to go to the dentist, no matter how highly regarded you find the dentist in question to be.
When you’ve whittled your list of potential dentists down to a two or three worthy suitors, it’s important that you visit all of them before finalizing your decision. You don’t have to wait for a physical need to do so; you should be able to set up a consultation to talk things over. During this meeting, you’ll ask for concrete information on things like what procedures are done in-house, which procedures are referred out to another clinic, and how far in advance appointments for cleanings and checkups need to be placed. You’ll also be able to get a feel for the dentist’s personality and the atmosphere of the dental office in general, which could end up being the element that determines which dentist to use if the other deciding metrics are close.
It’s an Essential Process
Picking the right dentist is not as difficult as you may think. At the same time, it does require a certain amount of study and thought to make sure the dentist is absolutely right for you. While you may get lucky and find a dentist that works well for you without this process, following through on proper scrutiny will transform the element of luck into something much more logical and sound.