How to choose the right dentist
We should all be aware that proper dental care is an essential component of maintaining good health. However, not many of us feel confident when looking for a new dentist. What should we look for? What differentiates a good option from a bad one? The following tips should help point you in the right direction.
Yellow Pages + Google = Powerful Combination
Traditional search methods can still come in handy. For example, the Yellow Pages will often be full of options. Instead of going for one of them straight off the bat, leverage the power of Google to find out a little bit more about the practice. Let’s say you’re looking for a dentist in Lexington, Kentucky.
The first advertisement that comes up is a local practitioner named ‘Jenny Miller’. The next step is to type the following into Google: ‘Jenny Miller dentist Lexington KY’. This will then not only give you the practice URL, you’ll also get additional information from other sites. Reviews, videos from YouTube and recommendations from others all combine to give you a balanced and thorough view of your potential practice.
This may seem like an obvious option, but many people forget that the best advice is often just around the corner. Ask your family, friends, co-workers or neighbors about their experiences.
Don’t forget other medical professionals – they often work with or know of several decent options that you can explore in your local area. Ask your family physician or your local pharmacist. They can often point you in the right direction.
If you’re moving from one area code to another, simply ask your current dentist for a recommendation. They will have a list of acknowledged dental professionals that you can choose from.
Are They a Member of Professional Organizations?
Make sure that your dentist of choice is a member of a professional organization, such as the American Dental Association (ADA) or the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). There are also local dentist societies in each city or area, so make sure to consult these as well.
What Do You Need?
Dentists will have different areas of expertise. One might be excellent for a certain patient, but not ideal for the next. It all depends on what the focus of the practice is.
That’s why it’s important to fully understand your personal needs first, as well as those of your family. If cosmetic dentistry is important to you, for example, find out whether your chosen dentist performs the procedures you deem necessary.
Does Your Insurance Cover It?
Not every dentist will be covered by your insurance – this is something that not everyone is aware of when searching for a new practitioner. This often leads to wasting time and frustration, upon finding that you need to go straight back to square one.
Before you start your search, call your insurance company and ask about exclusions to their coverage. The small print is often also helpful – it’s worth taking a look. This will usually dwindle the list down by quite a bit, making your choice just that little bit easier.