10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Dentist
Regular visits to the dentist are crucial as they play an important part in healthy teeth and the prevention of gum disease. Research has also linked poor oral health to ailments such as diabetes, heart disorder, and stroke. It makes sense to take your time in selecting a dentist rather than waiting until you have an emergency and less time to research your options.
Since you and your dentist will be partnering in your dental healthcare for a long time to come, choosing the right dentist is a significant decision for you and your family. So, what is the best approach?
Here are 10 things to consider when choosing a dentist:
- Current Education and Training
For several decades, the skills required by dentists plus other dental specialists remained very much the same. However, things are very different today. Over the last decade, developments in both clinical and administrative technology demands that dentists and their staff update their skills on regular basis, in order for them to meet industry and patient needs and expectations. As such, it is practical to find out how much training and clinical experience your prospective dentist has, especially in the area of the specialty procedures you may be considering.
- Latest Dental Technologies
You should find out if the dentist is investing in new technology in order to improve both the patient experience as well the treatment process. During the last 25 years there has been an increase in digital technologies in the dental world that significantly enhance quality of dental healthcare. This is particularly important for dental x-rays, which are important in identifying major oral health issues. But large x-ray radiation doses may contribute to oral cancer. Radiation exposure in patients can be reduced by 90 percent using digital x-ray technology. There are several other advancements in technology that are worth looking into.
- Types of Treatments Offered
Since not all dentists or dental practices offer similar services, you need to inquire whether a particular practice caters to it – that is, in case you need a certain treatment or product brand. Invisalign for example, provides a more esthetically pleasing, much less visible option to standard metal braces with transparent mouthpieces that sit overtop of your teeth.
- Dental Office Location plus Office Hours
It is advisable to select a dentist near your working place or home. This makes it easier to plan visits and to be punctual. You also need to ensure that the dental office is open during the days and times when you can conveniently schedule an appointment.
General dentists can refer complicated restorative or cosmetic cases to their colleagues in cases where they are not well equipped to provide some treatments. If you have no problem with a situation in which you are actually referred by your prospective dentist to a different dentist for treatment, then you should inquire about his or her referral process.
- Emergency Care
Dental emergencies normally occur, with oral trauma and impaired restorations striking when least expected. This is why you need to ask about the kind of emergency your prospective dentist offers. For instance, find out if the dentist is available after office hours including at night and also on weekends.
- Patient Comforts
Ask your prospective dentist about patient comforts, for example pre-medication or nitrous oxide, as well as facilities like music or television to make your dental treatment more relaxing.
- A Clean, Modern Clinic
It is widely believed that restaurant restrooms are signs of the facility’s cleanliness. This might be applied to the dentist’s office as well. Clean, modern surroundings and current magazines are likely to indicate that the equipment and care at the office are the same level.
- Treatment Costs
You should to ensure that while discussing treatment, the dentist covers the plans in detail to allow you to know what to expect, the number of visits that the treatment will take, and the duration. Your questions should be answered clearly, and you should be provided with accurate estimates upfront.
- Friendly and Courteous Staff
For most people, a dentist visit is something that is not high on their list of favorite activities. Although it is not necessarily possible for you to dictate the kind of treatment you will need beforehand, it is possible to determine the quality of staff experience. To do this, you should ensure that you choose a dental office that offers an efficient appointment process, enjoyable interaction, as well as a billing procedure which accepts the majority of insurance plans.
Although choosing a dentist is a significant decision, it does not have to be a tough one. Using the above tips will help to you in doing a thorough search for a suitable dentist for you.