How do I find a good dentist? This is a question that all of us ask at one point in our lives. As you know, finding Dr. Right is vital to maintaining good oral health. It's never a good idea to visit the first dental clinic that you see in the street and get on with a dental procedure without first getting to know the dentist. Below, you'll find some practical tips on how to find the right dentist for you.
Ways to Find a Dentist
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the best ways to find a good dentist is to ask your family doctor for a referral or to ask your family, friends, neighbors, or co-employees for recommendations. The great thing about this route is that you can be assured of the dentist's reputability since they are known by your doctor or they have treated people that you know. The ADA also suggests contacting the local or state dental society. This will provide you with a list of dentists that are members of their organization. When searching for a dentist, don't go with the first one that you find. Instead, visit or call several ones and talk to them before deciding which one you'd like to build a long-term doctor-patient relationship with.
Questions to Ask Your Dentist
When you go visit several dentists, be sure to ask yourself and the dentists the following questions:
• What are the dentist's office hours? This will show you if the dentist's office hours are convenient to your own schedule.
• How far is the dentist's clinic from your work or office? Again, this is about your convenience.
• Where did the dentist get his education and training?
• How does the dentist look at preventive dentistry? You would want someone who's more concerned about preventing tooth decay than one who promotes the use of false teeth.
• How often does the dentist go to workshops and conferences? Learning is a never-ending process so you'd be better off with someone who believes in that. After all, there would always be new and more advanced procedures, gadgets, and forms of treatment for dental practices.
• How does the dentist handle emergencies outside the office hours? You want to have a dentist who can see you during an emergency even if it's not his/her clinic hours.
• Does the dentist provide information about the fees and payment plans before scheduling a treatment? This gives you a chance to go for a comparison shopping.
Visiting the Dentist's Office
Don't rely solely on the answers to the questions above. You should also do your own observation. When you visit the clinic, take note of the environment. It should be clean, neat and orderly. The dental staff's willingness to help and tend to your concerns is another point that you should look for. See if the dentist and the staff wear gloves and protective gear during patient treatment.
Following all these tips and suggestions would ensure that you will find a dentist who will take care of your dental health.