Finding a good local dentist can be as annoying as a toothache, but the importance of this decision cannot be overestimated. This isn’t just a one-time deal, but a very long term commitment, and if you have a family then it can be a package deal for every member of your household. Figuring out how to select a local dentist office, however, isn’t really all that difficult when you know what factors to consider.
Here are the steps you need to take:
- Ask for recommendations from people you trust. This includes your family and friends, co-workers, and neighbors. If they recommend a particular dentist, they can tell you their own experiences to give you a much clearer idea of what to expect.
You can also have your former dentist recommend someone, and you may also ask for names from your doctor and your pharmacist.
- Find out about their skills. This means asking about where the dentist was educated and trained. Find out if they are members of professional dental associations, like the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) or the American Dental Association (ADA). Ask how often they attend dental workshops and conferences.
Find out which dental services they provide, and which are referred elsewhere. This will include finding out the kind of anesthesia the dentist is qualified to administer, what their philosophy is regarding preventive dentistry, and what kind of arrangements have been set up if you need emergency dental work outside of office hours.
- How much will it cost? The dentist’s skills and services won’t really be practical for you if you can’t afford them or if you think they are too prohibitive. You’ll need to see some sort of info regarding fees and payment plans. Ask about the costs of the more common services you’ll like a need in the future, such as oral exams and cleaning, filling a cavity, capping your teeth, and full-mouth X-rays.
If you have a dental health plan, check if the dentist participates in it.
- Visit the dentist’s office. One of the key steps on how to select a local dentist’s office is to see how well the office is organized. Does everything look good and right? Is the office clean and well-managed? Are people courteous and professional? If you will be bringing your kids eventually, are the people and the office great for children?
The office should be near enough for your home so that you don’t have to go out of your way (and also so that you won’t be tempted to miss your scheduled setups). How far ahead should you call for an appointment? What if you miss an appointment?
- Go for a trial run. Choose the best one on your list so far and then go for a dental checkup. See if you feel comfortable with your experience while at the dental office. You need to be at ease, and you also need to be assured that the dentist knows what they’re doing.
As you can see, choosing a dentist isn’t really all that complicated. It just needs a little time and effort on your part.
Here at Family Dental Care, we welcome new patients. We have new patient specials that include free consultations with x-rays and oral cancer screening (our latest technology). Come visit us at our three convenient locations: Family Dental Care Bloomingdale, Family Dental Care St. Charles, and Family Dental Care Glen Ellyn.