Even before the pandemic, a staggering one-third of Americans went without dental care. This is disheartening, given that your oral health plays a significant role in your overall well-being. Did you know that poor oral health could lead to diabetes, heart diseases, and even premature births?
Regular checkups with your dentist are imperative to mitigating these risks and maintaining great oral health. Now, in a dental industry worth about $109 billion in the US alone, how do you find the best dentist?
Keep reading because this guide highlights everything you need to find the best dentist for you.
Is the Dentist Near You a Good Choice?
The first thing you want to consider is whether the dentist near you is a good choice. Look for one who has experience in treating your particular oral health concerns. If you have complex dental needs, you’ll want a dentist with extensive experience in providing care for patients with similar issues.
You can ask friends and family members for recommendations or use online resources like Yelp to read reviews from other patients. When looking at reviews, be sure to look out for red flags such as poor customer service, long wait times, and excessive fees. If you have children, check here on how to find the best pediatric dentist.
However, also remember that not all reviews are accurate so take them with a grain of salt. It’s best to schedule an appointment with the dentist and see how it goes before making any decisions.
Check What Your Insurance Covers
Your insurance company likely has a list of dentists who are in-network. This is important as it means that the dentist will accept your insurance, and you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket for services. If you go to an out-of-network dentist, you may have to pay more since the dentist isn’t required to charge you the same amount as an in-network provider.
If your insurance doesn’t cover dental care or if you don’t have any insurance, then be sure to ask the dentist about their payment plans. Many dentists offer financing options so that patients can get the necessary dental treatments they need without breaking the bank.
Consider Their Telehealth Capabilities
As you continue to look for the best dentist near you, also consider their telehealth capabilities. Telemedicine is an increasingly popular practice where patients receive care through video calls or online messaging with a doctor. You can use this service to ask the dentist any questions you have about your oral health, schedule appointments, and receive dental treatments even outside of standard business hours.
Telemedicine has been shown to provide better quality care with significantly lower wait times compared to traditional medical practices. It’s a more convenient way for patients and doctors alike to communicate effectively on the go.
How Much Experience Does the Dentist Have?
When choosing the best dentist, it’s also imperative to consider their level of experience. The more experienced they are, the better they’ll be at offering personalized care and finding dental treatments for your specific needs. However, don’t assume that newer dentists are bad simply because they lack years in practice.
Many new graduates go on to offer great services as well. Some patients might even prefer having an inexperienced but highly skilled student over an experienced one with average skills. Again, try scheduling an appointment before making any final decisions.
Research Their Credentials
Once you’ve found a good local dentist, it’s time to do some research on their credentials. All licensed dentists in the United States must complete at least two years of post-graduate training.
They must also pass both written and clinical exams. However, not all dentists are equal, so it’s important to look into their specific areas of expertise. For example, if you need dental implants, you’ll want to find a dentist certified by the American Board of Implant Dentistry (ABID).
You can also check out the American Dental Association website to see if your dentist is an active member in good standing. This means that they have met the association’s high standards for education, training, and ethical conduct.
Doing this research will save you a lot of time in the long run as it means that your dentist is knowledgeable about the latest dental practices and techniques. It also gives you peace of mind knowing that they’re qualified to handle any oral health concerns you may have. A good way to find out if your chosen dentist has these credentials is by asking them for their professional affiliations.
Are the Dentists and Staff Friendly?
It’s vital to find a dentist and staff who make you feel comfortable because it reflects their level of expertise. How do the dentists and staff treat other patients? Do they seem likable or rude?
You can get an idea by observing how others interact with them, especially the receptionist. Are any employees grumpy or condescending towards patients right off the bat? This might be indicative of what kind of experience you’ll have as well.
On the flip side, does everyone appear pleasant even when being spoken to abruptly? If so, that speaks volumes about how much respect is given throughout every interaction at that office. Take note of your overall feeling during your initial phone call as well as while visiting the office.
Are you treated as a valued member of the community, or is it more like walking into an assembly line? A balance between both courtesy and efficiency will ensure that your needs are met without sacrificing one for another.
Is the Dentist Considerate of Your Fears and Concerns?
It’s also crucial to consider how the dentist will address any fears or concerns you may have. Some people are anxious about going to the dentist, and it’s perfectly normal. A good dentist will be understanding of your apprehensions and take measures to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
They should also be able to answer any questions you have so that there are no surprises during your appointment. If a dentist doesn’t seem interested in addressing your fears or openly dismisses them, then it might not be the best fit for you. You don’t want to feel like you’re being judged for your anxiety or fear of dental work.
How to Find the Best Dentist: The Complete Guide
There you have it! These are some of the most critical aspects to consider when choosing the best dentist. Consider their experience, what dental procedures they offer, and online customer reviews before making a final decision.
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Table of Content
- 1 Is the Dentist Near You a Good Choice?
- 2 Check What Your Insurance Covers
- 3 Consider Their Telehealth Capabilities
- 4 How Much Experience Does the Dentist Have?
- 5 Research Their Credentials
- 6 Are the Dentists and Staff Friendly?
- 7 Is the Dentist Considerate of Your Fears and Concerns?
- 8 How to Find the Best Dentist: The Complete Guide