Oral care is an important aspect of your overall well-being. So, it is important to schedule regular visits to a dentist. If you’ve just relocated, you may be looking for a dentist. In this article, you will find out how to find the best dentist near you.
Where Should You Begin the Search?
The first place you will likely search is the internet. You can start by searching for “dentists near me” or “dentist in (your location)”. This will generate the names and websites of several dental clinics in your location. You may want to watch this video to learn how to effectively search for information on the internet.
Other places to check are:
- The health department in your community
- Dental schools nearby
- The website of your state’s dental society
- The American Dental Association (ADA) search tool
- You can also get a recommendation from neighbors, friends, and relatives.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Dentist
When searching for a dentist, you will have several options to choose from. To choose a suitable dentist, consider these factors:
Reading the reviews of previous patients gives you a peek into the dentist’s practice. Usually, reviews reflect the experience of patients with the staff, office environment, scheduling, and wait periods. They go on to explain how much they trust the specialist and if he or she makes them comfortable.
The Dentist’s Credentials
Another important factor to consider is whether the specialist is certified or not. Certifications prove the skills, training, and experience of the dentist. You can also go further to find out whether he or she has a record of malpractice or disciplinary action. This information can be gotten from the state’s dentistry website.
Dentists have different areas of practice. So, you should try to identify your dental needs to choose the type of specialist you want. Dentists offer various services such as cleaning and regular checkup, aesthetic or cosmetic treatments, pediatric dental care, and dental implants. You may want to check out SLO Dental Practice to get more information on dental specialties.
If you are experiencing much pain and don’t want to wait in long queues for an appointment, you can check out dental schools near you. Students are already familiar with handling emergency procedures and they are adequately supervised.
Besides general dentistry, other specialists for oral needs include the following:
- Maxillofacial/oral surgeon – specializes in oral surgery requiring deep sedation especially when the procedure is complex. Examples include jaw correction surgery, irregular tooth removal, and cleft palate surgery.
- Orthodontist – treats misaligned teeth.
- Prosthodontist – restores and/or replaces missing or broken teeth.
- Periodontist – treats and prevents diseases that affect the gum.
- Endodontist – performs root canal surgery and monitors the healing for a period of two years.
Years of Experience
When it comes to health issues, experience counts. If the dentist is experienced in a particular area, the chances of having better results are high. You should find out how many cases the dentist has handled that are similar to yours.
Additionally, if you are not comfortable with sitting on the dentist’s chair, find out whether he or she has handled anxious patients. If you are aware of the exact procedure you need, ask how many times the dentist has performed the procedure and the rate of complication if any. Experienced dentists will not only answer your questions without hesitating but also make you feel comfortable whether you are anxious or not.
The Dentist’s Gender
You need to be comfortable with the dentist’s gender before disclosing your personal information. Certain aspects of oral care consider the gender of the patient. And these days, dentists are trained to care for men and women differently. You can ask about the dentist’s experience and training with respect to your gender and health condition.
You should be comfortable when discussing with the dentist. During your first meeting, observe the way they respond to your questions. Do they nudge you to ask more questions? Do they provide clear answers or leave you more confused than when you started?
If you leave the dentist’s office feeling dissatisfied or rushed, it means you or the dentist are not comfortable with each other. It is important to choose a specialist that has a genuine interest in your case and tries to get along with you. They should also consider your preferences and respect your decisions.
Insurance is very important in health care because patients benefit more and pay less. For Americans, dental insurance especially for preventive care like cleaning might be a major factor to consider when choosing a dentist. It is different from regular health insurance. You can visit https://www.investopedia.com/ to learn more about dental insurance.
Before choosing a dental home, request a list of dentists that your insurance provider supports. However, if the dentist you prefer is not on the list, approach him or her and see whether they will accept what your insurance pays. Since you relocated, you can also request an in-network payment schedule that allows you to pay the same fees you were paying your previous dentist.
Unlike medical charges, dental charges aren’t standardized. So, if you see a specialist who ticks all your boxes, go for them. You may even qualify for a discount if insurance does not work.
Relocation can disrupt your lifestyle. You start making new friends or looking for a new school for your kids. You also have to look for a dentist that you can trust.
While insurance coverage is essential, you should consider the dentist’s experience, training, and practice area. We shared a list of places to check when searching for a dentist.