Many people dread visiting the dentist. They find the experience both physically and emotionally unpleasant. Fortunately, selecting the right dentist ensures not only that your mouth receives the best care, but also that you are as comfortable as possible. The following are four things to look for when choosing a dentist.
A good dentist provides high-quality dental care. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Look online to see if the dentist is a member of the American Dental Association and view education credentials.
If possible, schedule a visit to simply look around the office and meet with the dental team. Make sure the office is clean and organized. Do you feel welcome? Is the atmosphere relaxing?
Choose a dentist that uses high-quality, up-to-date equipment, such as Henry Schein dental products. If you are prone to anxiety, ask about the office’s policy for administering nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”).
One of the major aspects of choosing a dentist is convenience. If your dentist is far away or only open when you are at work or school, you are less likely to visit regularly. In addition to regular hours, ask how the office handles after-hour emergencies. Do they have a relationship with a nearby emergency dentist?
Find out if the dentist only performs basic procedures or if more complex treatment is available. There may be times when you need to see a specialist, but the more you can have done at your regular dentist, the better.
Price is a key component of dental care. If you can afford routine maintenance, you are likely to save money by preventing major problems.
Check if the dentist takes your insurance. If you do not have dental insurance, ask if there are discounts available for self-pay patients. Some offices have plans that provide discounts on certain procedures and treatments for regular patients.
Finally, look for a friendly atmosphere. If you are surrounded by a grumpy, unpleasant staff, you will dread your visits. When you schedule an appointment, is the person who takes the call polite and helpful? Does the staff put you at ease when you arrive?
Although you may never enjoy visiting the dentist, choosing the right dentist can make the process more pleasant. The dentist and staff should be not only competent, but also friendly. Affordability and convenience are also important as they affect how frequently you are likely to schedule appointments.