Going to the dentist can be scary. When you have a reliable, trustworthy professional you and your family can visit, you’ll feel more at ease. With that said, choosing a new dentist is easier said than done.
How can you choose from all the dentists in your area without possibly making a mistake? How do you know you can trust your dentist to give you a winning smile? It’s an important matter and more than 50% of the adult American population over 50 agree that smiles are the most important physical feature that remains attractive as we grow older, according to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey.
Well, you can start by asking the right questions before any decisions are made. Stick around, because we’ll be looking at all the most important questions you need to ask a dentist before coming back for regular visits.
1. What Are Their Areas of Specialty?
Although most of us think that all dentists do the same thing, some of them are more experienced with treating specific conditions than others. It’s important that you ask your potential dentist what their areas of specialty are.
A bad experience with a dentist can lead to many problems down the road, unfortunately. And although business tort lawsuits account for only a small proportion of civil findings (less than 5% in 2017), there are still cases where legal violations in a business setting such as a dentist’s office are bad enough to warrant going to court.
2. Are There Positive References to Look At?
You need to know how previous patients felt about the treatment they got at the dentist you’re considering. If there are many positive reviews and references, you’ll be more assured of a pleasant experience. Take the time to search for reviews on Google, Yelp, social media, online forums, and the dentist’s website.
3. What Payment Plans Are Offered?
You need to know whether or not the dentist has any payment plans that you can use if you don’t have enough money for treatments. It’s important to find out about possibly paying in monthly installments and if patients are offered any interest-free payment programs. You’ll also have to know more about medical insurance coverage.
4. Are Written Treatment Plans Available?
Sometimes, oral health issues like infections, impacted teeth, cavities, and gum disease require routine procedures to treat. You have to find out if written treatment plans and timelines are available for patients. A reliable dentist will have this kind of information stored in their records, so you should be able to find out more about how such treatments will be done.
5. Are Free Consultations Offered?
You should know whether or not a dentist offers free consultations for cosmetic treatments and advanced restorations. Many dentists ask for a fee for these kinds of consultations and it can be costly at times. With a free consultation, you’ll be in a better position to decide which services you want.
6. How is Patient Satisfaction Ensured?
This is a question you’ll have to ask the dentist directly so you can get straight answers. Once you ask this question, you can compare what you’ve been told with the online reviews available to get an idea of what to expect. Make sure to take notes when they are explaining their answer.
7. How Are Possible Future Visits Determined?
How will the dentist determine how many visits you’ll need for complete treatment and good oral care? Every patient is different, so a good dentist will have unique plans for everyone. Ask this to the dentist on your first visit.
8. Are Any Advanced Technologies Used?
Dentists use a variety of different technologies to give their patients the best possible care. From laser dentistry to digital x-rays, you need to discuss all the technology you can expect to enjoy when visiting the dentist you’re considering. The best dentists will be using the latest and most advanced technology they can get their hands on.
9. Choose Your Dentist Wisely
Most people don’t visit the dentist as often as they should. According to The American Dental Association, one in five people hasn’t visited the dentist in the last few years despite 52% of adults going every six months. It’s important that you’re making the right decision so that your oral health is secure.
Now that you know how to determine the best dentist for you and your family, you can rest assured you’ll choose the right one. Trusting someone with your health is always a big deal, and it’s something you absolutely have to think about carefully. Good luck!