When shopping for a new dentist, there are important factors you need to consider. Key among these is the reason why you want to see a dentist. For instance, you may be seeking a general dentist to help with ongoing care, checkup, and maintenance or scouting for a specialized professional to help with a particular restorative or cosmetic procedure. Other factors such as reputation and recognition by the appropriate dental board, training, and location may also matter. Here is a detailed look of the things to consider when choosing a dentist.
1. Reputation and practice history
Several methods offer insights into dentists’ reputation. There are online reviews filled by patients as well as referrals given by friends, relatives and acquaintances are just two. Secondly, state dental boards track practitioners and file claim history of every dentist. Use these to ensure you select a dentist with no history suspicious claims.
2. Breadth of training and clinical experience
Check the level of training as well as clinical experience that your prospective dentist has and most especially, in specialty procedures. Not every dentist gets training that enables him or her perform all dental procedures, be they restorative or cosmetic. Such dentists will refer you to colleagues. If you think referrals are inconveniencing, find an appropriate alternative dental practice.
3. Emergency care
Dental emergencies, damaged restorations, and oral trauma can happen anytime. It, therefore, is important to ascertain the wealth of resources your dentist offers in case such accidents occur. While certain practices have no problem attending to patients after hours and during weekends, some may insist on regular office hours. You should establish the flexibility of your prospective dentist or dental practice before making a decision.
4. Diversity of services
As mentioned above, not all dentists offer similar services. If you want a specific treatment then you will have to inquire whether your prospective dentist offers such. You may want a specific brand of product for example, and, even though you usual dentist may be able to offer a solution that serves a similar purpose; he may not have certification to provide the specific solution that interests you. If you are very particular about such a solution then you may want to factor that in your search.
5. Investment in innovative dental technology and retraining
Good dentists invest in applicable technological advances so they can enhance treatment processes and improve the patient experience. New equipment such as CAD/CAM machines and dental lasers may improve the outcome of treatment and in most instances, affect aspects of treatment experience such as the number of visits necessary or amount of chair duration per visit. Do note, however, that dentists who offer such innovative technologies are a lot likely to charge higher compared to practices that insist on traditional treatment options.
While the cost of dental care may vary significantly from person to person and case to case, the general cost depends on traditional factors like processes involved as well as the cost of running a practice. As such, the cost of the procedure in downtown New York may be up to 30% higher than the cost of a similar procedure in Rochester. Overall, do ensure you request for estimates before settling on a particular dentist or practice.
While these points above are essential, there are several other equally important things to consider when choosing a dentist. These include your comfort, past patients’ gallery with pictures of the teeth before and after a procedure and dental health plans, the dentist accepts.