Making decisions is a natural part of life.
At the grocery store, you face the tough decision of whether to skip the ice cream aisle or indulge in a pint of Mint Chocolate Chip. During your bi-monthly visit to the hairdresser, you decide on a hair color and style. Even when relaxing at home, you make decisions (although somewhat easier ones) on what to watch on TV or which snack will satisfy that craving.
Choosing a new family dentist is yet another decision we must make. Yet, unlike the choice between rainbow or chocolate sprinkles, picking your family dentist requires some serious forethought and detailed research.
Before you commit to just any dentist because of its convenience or fancy ad, you should evaluate several dentists in your area. To help you find the perfect family dentist for you and your family, we’ve compiled a list of questions you should ask before making a final decision.
1) What are your areas of specialty?
Some dentists only offer treatment for certain conditions, while others provide a range of services. Ask each dentist their area of specialty. Do they specialize in implants, orthodontics, TMJ, cosmetics, etc.? Do they have extensive training in many different areas? Are they kid friendly?
Consider their work experience. Have they performed a dental procedure numerous times or only once or twice? You’ll feel better knowing your dentist has plenty of practical hands-on experience in performing procedures.
2) Do they have positive references?
Positive references likely indicate your dentist is respected in their field and that their patients are satisfied. Take time to search for patient reviews on their website, Yelp, social media and online forums. Read several reviews to learn not only about the dentist’s skills, but their personality.
3) Do you offer payment plans?
Successful dental practices typically offer payment plans for their patients. Before you decide on a dentist, ask about their payment options. Do they allow patients to pay in monthly installments? Do they have interest-free payment programs? Whether you’re covered by insurance or paying with cash, your dentist should be able to work with you on your payments.
4) Do you take x-rays when necessary?
The early stages of some serious conditions have no warning signs or oral pain. X-rays can rule out any serious problems and help dentists recommend the best treatment option. Ask dentists how often they take x-rays. Do they take x-rays every year? Do they take them before establishing a treatment plan? If x-rays are not incorporated in the dentist’s normal process, you might want to consider a different option.
5) How do you determine how many visits I need?
Every patient is different. So, naturally, each patient will have different oral care needs. How does your dentist determine your optimal number of visits? Do they have an objective method? Your dentist may have a desired result in mind, but lack a strategic approach. Your dentist should work with you to prioritize treatment based on what’s essential and what’s elective. Make sure to ask each dentist how they measure progress towards an end goal.
Asking these questions will help you to find a family dentist best suited to you and your family’s unique requirements. Make sure you feel comfortable with the answers and if you don’t, move on. You want to make sure you’re receiving quality care from a dentist you can trust, and asking thorough questions at the onset of your decision-making process is a valuable exercise in protecting the health and safety of you and your family
West Chester Dental Arts offers a full array of dental services to help you maintain healthy teeth. We work with our patients to find the right solution to their unique issues. To learn more about West Chester Dental Arts, take a look at our range of services for every age.