Not every person has had the same experiences with the dentist. Some of us go and it’s a pleasant experience. Some of us go and it’s like reliving a childhood nightmare. Here are some tips on finding a good dentist that you can work with and one you feel comfortable and safe with.
Ask For Referrals
Before you choose a dentist, do what you normally do with every other purchase – ask friends, family, and co-workers for suggestions. They can help you choose a dentist by sharing their experiences with whomever they’re using (or have used in the past).
Do they know a dentist that specializes in the same problem you’re having now? If so, you’ve struck paydirt.
Take note of all of the comments and suggestions you get and write down everything. Hop on the Internet and start reading other reviews of these dentists. If the reviews match what you’re hearing from real-life friends and family, then you probably have a winner.
If you’re getting mixed reviews, it could be that the reviews online aren’t trustworthy, or your friends and family are getting hoodwinked.
In any case, you’ll have to actually visit the office and check it out for yourself.
Actually Visit The Office Before You Agree To Become A Patient
Before you agree to becoming a patient, go and check out the office in person. Is the staff welcoming to first-time visitors? Do they seem organized? How do they treat existing customers? When you’re standing in line, pay attention to how the front desk interacts with existing clients.
If you notice something that seems out of place, it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with the office in general. But, it could mean that there’s a problem with customer service.
Find An Office That’s Convenient For You To Drive To
Make sure the office is near where you live. Unless you’re getting exceptional service, it’s usually not worth driving all over town for.
Make Sure They Accept Your Insurance
This is a big one. If your dentist doesn’t accept your insurance, then you’re going to have to pay cash for services. Can you do that? Most people can’t. So, verify that your dentist takes your insurance.
If he doesn’t, you still have an option. You can get a discount on services through third-party services that work with dentists nationwide to lower costs. For example, a Carefree Dental crown cost is lower than what you would pay if you tried negotiating with your dentist directly. It’s probably also cheaper than if you went through some insurance policies.
Compare Rates With Other Offices
We have a problem in this country when it comes to comparing healthcare costs. We just don’t do it. Why?
When you go to your dentist, do you ask how much procedures cost? Most people don’t. They just wait until the bill is generated and assume that it costs about the same everyplace else. This is not true.
You should talk to at least 5 or 6 dentists in the area to get an idea of what the marketplace is charging. It could be that all the dentists in your area are charging about the same thing. But, more often than not, what you’ll find is that some dentists charge much less than others.
Schedule An Initial Consult
Dentists will sometimes allow you to schedule an initial consult with them. This allows you to ask them about any concerns you might have. You can find out if they’re a member of any trade or professional organization (most of them are, but at least you’ll know and you can research that organization later), find out how much continuing education they do, and get clarification about what will happen in the office once you’re a client.
You can also ask how easy or difficult it is to reschedule appointments.
Some offices have special rules regarding cancellations. Others are more liberal in their policies.
Reflect After Your First Visit
How did it go? Did you get the services you thought you were going to get? Were you comfortable sitting in that chair? Was the dentist nice? How about the dental assistant that worked on your teeth?
What about the billing? Do you think it was fair?
These are the kinds of things to think about before agreeing to a second or followup visit. Not every dentist is going to be a good match for you, even if his or her pricing fits your budget.
Victoria Hyde has been a dentist’s assistant most of her working life. She understands patients needs and worries, whether they be medical or money based and works to alleviate as many concerns as possible.