Did you know that 26% of American adults have tooth decay that hasn’t been treated? That’s about one in four people. 46% of adults over the age of 30 have signs of untreated gum disease while 9% suffer from severe gum disease.
Oral health issues affect different groups of people in different ways. Every three out of four people of Hispanic descent aren’t receiving proper dental treatment. The same goes for black American adults and people from low-income households.
Suffering from other chronic illnesses can harm oral health as well. When it comes to choosing your dentist, there are many factors you should consider.
Your oral health is much too important to ignore. Keep reading to learn about what you should keep in mind when looking for a new dentist.
1. Find a Dentist Who Cares
Ideally, when you start the search for a dentist you want to keep seeing them for a long time. You’ll be seeing your dentist at least twice a year so it’s important to find someone whom you’ll always feel safe going to.
You want to feel like you’ve built a strong patient/dentist relationship to ensure that your experience is always positive. This type of personalized care will help you make the most of your time at the dentist.
Going to the dentist can be a cause for anxiety for many people so the dental staff at your dentist’s office should help you feel as comfortable as possible. Some ways to figure this out and help you make a final decision on a dentist is to personally visit the office to get a feel for the atmosphere of the place.
Some options that can help you relax during a dental procedure include sedation or nitrous oxide. Ask the dental office if this is something they offer.
2. Affordability Is Important
When narrowing your list of dentists, comparing dental costs is important. The high costs of dental care paired with inadequate dental insurance are often barriers that keep people from getting the dental services that they need. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice taking care of your oral health because you can’t afford it.
If you do have dental insurance, you should find a dentist that works with your plan. Your dentist’s office should also be submitting insurance claims to make sure you’re getting all the benefits you’re entitled to.
If you don’t have insurance, ask the dentist’s office what kind of payment plans they offer and go with the one that will offer the most flexibility. It’s important that the dentist you choose also gives you a clear estimate of the cost of treatment so you aren’t burdened with surprise costs down the line.
3. A Professional With Experience Is Crucial
You wouldn’t want an unqualified person fixing your roof the same way you should never have an unqualified person handle your oral health. When researching dentists you should find out the type of qualifications each dentist has.
You want someone who has the correct certifications to practice dentistry and you also want someone with the experience of having worked with multiple patients over the years. This is the best way to ensure that your dentist can find the best solutions for each patient that walks through their door.
Most of this information can be found through a simple google search. In your research, you’ll want to look for information on the dentist’s education and if they’ve continued their education to ensure you’re always getting the latest dental techniques backed by research.
4. You Want to Receive the Best Service
It’s already nerve-racking enough going to the dentist, you don’t want to have a bad experience with the staff on top of that. This is why it’s so important to check all the references and reviews you can find online of each dental practice on your list.
You can check on the dental office’s website for reviews straight from other patients. Another way to find out the quality of their customer service is to call them or visit them in person to get a feel for what interacting with the staff is like.
It’s important that your dentist offers services to your enter family. A staff that works to provide this type of overall care is one that provides the best service to their patients.
5. Consider Convenience
Choosing the right dentist is all about choosing someone who offers flexibility for your busy life. You shouldn’t have to put your oral health at risk because you don’t have the time to visit the dentist.
When looking for a dentist make sure that they offer appointments at times and on days you’ll be able to come in for checkups or other procedures. Whether you need to come in on a weekend, in the early morning before work, or later in the evening after work, this type of convenience in hours is a key factor in choosing your next dentist.
6. Think About the Location
The location of your new dentist’s office is an important component of your choice. You might find that a dentist that is further away from your home is better because they’re closer to your work and before or after work are the best times for appointments.
Or you might find a dentist you really like but that’s located further away from your home, this shouldn’t be a problem if the drive doesn’t inconvenience you. If, however, you have to take public transportation then finding someone closer to your home might be the best option.
You should also consider that when your dentist’s office is close to your home or workplace then getting to them during an emergency will be a lot easier.
7. Choose a Dentist Office That’s Accessible
Accessibility is a major component of choosing a new dentist. If you live with a disability and your dentist’s office is on a high floor make sure to ask about access to elevators and space for wheelchairs.
If you have other physical limitations your new dentist office should have accessible parking spots near the office. This is easy to find by taking a drive out to the dentist’s office you’re interested in and taking a tour of the office.
Another form of accessibility that is often overlooked is language. If you aren’t able to understand the dental staff then you won’t receive the quality service you deserve. Make sure that the dentist office you’re researching has staff that speaks your first language or that offers access to interpretation services.
8. Technology Should Be Considered
A great dentist will have the most up to date technologies in their office. Using the latest technology will allow dentists to provide the best treatment to their patients.
You want the best treatment in the least invasive way, newer dental technologies are offering this. This will make you feel more comfortable during your visit to the dentist because you know you’re being given the best treatment for your dental needs.
Visit the dentist’s office or check their website to see what kind of technology they’re using in different kinds of treatments.
9. Consider the Services That They Offer
Whether you’re looking to get braces and Invisalign for your kids, need a root canal, or are looking for regular teeth cleaning, find a dental office that offers all of these specialized treatments in one office. Highland Park Dental offers comprehensive care for every member of your family so that you get all the care you need in one place.
You also receive better care when every specialist you’re seeing is under one roof. This type of personalized care fosters a collaborative treatment plan that will better meet your dental needs.
Getting all the care you need in one place will reduce the stress and costs of trying to find a specialist for every new specialized treatment you need.
10. Ask About Their Emergency Procedures
When unexpected oral health issues crop up, you want a dentist who has established procedures in place to handle your dental emergency. When reaching out to different dentist offices, ask them about the emergency procedures they offer and about the systems they have in place to handle something like this.
Everything You Should Ask Before Choosing Your Dentist
Choosing your dentist is an important decision in taking care of your oral health. There are many factors to consider before settling on a dentist.
You should take the costs and the qualifications of a dentist into consideration before making any decision. Make sure you check out the other blogs on our site to learn more.