Whether you’re new to town, your former dentist has retired, or you are simply ready to make a change, finding a new dentist can be stressful. Take a look at this list of considerations to keep in mind as you make your decision.
While payments should not be your first and only consideration, the fact is that if you can’t afford to see the dentist, you won’t. This might mean that you need to see someone who participates with your dental insurance plan. If you don’t have dental insurance (or if your plan includes a large deductible or copays), find out whether the practices you’re considering will take credit cards, if they offer any type of in-house or third-party financing, and whether they offer a cash discount if you pay in full. Any or all of these options can help make your dental care more affordable, which will make it more likely that you’ll keep your appointments.
Another consideration to keep in mind is that if your dentist is out of the way and not convenient to either your home or your workplace, it will be hard for you to keep your appointments. Look for someone who is located in a convenient area.
If you work from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and those are the same hours as the practice you decide on, you are going to have to take time off from work to get your teeth cleaned and have dental treatment done. If this isn’t a problem for you, then that’s great! If, however, you don’t have a flexible job, you might consider looking for a new dentist who is open early or stays late at least one or two days per week. You could also ask whether they are open on Saturdays.
Up to this point, the criteria have been based on convenience. Once you have a short list of practices that will meet your needs, it’s time to visit them to find out whether you feel comfortable in the office. When you walk in, note whether the staff makes you feel comfortable. Is the waiting room filled with patients who have been waiting a long time to see the dentist? Is the waiting room clean? Note whether the rooms are clean and in good order when you go in. If you feel that the office isn’t clean or that the equipment seems outdated, you might not feel comfortable there as a patient.
The Staff and Dentist
Of course, the main reason you’re going to the dentist isn’t to look at the decor or to perform a white-glove test on the waiting room windows. Make sure the staff is friendly and that the dentist has a good bedside manner. Ask about any special needs you might have when it comes to your dental health. For example, are you fearful in the chair? Have you had a root canal and now you need a crown? Perhaps you’ve struggled with gum disease. Be sure that the dentist is willing to answer your questions.
If you are looking for a new dentist, we would love to have you come in and check out our office! Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.