Scheduling regular dental check-ups every six months is important. Whether you’ve recently moved or your former dentist no longer accepts your insurance plan, finding the right dental provider is the key to preserving your oral health.
You want to make sure that you choose someone who will give you the top-notch care you deserve and make you feel comfortable during each appointment. If you’re currently on the hunt for a new dentist, here are four tips for finding the right one for you and your family.
Review your Dental Plan
Many dental plans provide members with a handbook outlining what types of services are covered under their plans. These books also typically contain contact information for dental providers who accept the insurance plan.
Take a look at potential providers in your area that are covered under your insurance, and develop a list of dentists with offices near your home or work.
Obviously, location doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of care a particular dentist provides. Once you have a list of your top five or top ten based on their office location, you can start doing your research.
Whether you’ve recently moved to a new community or simply need to change dentists, consider asking for recommendations from family, friends, and neighbors. Your primary care physician may also be able to suggest some dental providers for you as well. Word of mouth testimonials from people you trust can go a long way towards helping you make the right decision about which dentist is right for your family.
Read Reviews Online
The problem with relying solely on word of mouth recommendations from friends and family is that many people have been going to a dentist for years and they really don’t have a basis for comparing their dental provider against others.
If you’d like to do some more in-depth research about dentists in your area, there are a number of websites that provide reviews of dental providers and doctor’s offices. You can check out what other patients are saying on Google and Bing, and on specialty websites like Angie’s List and Yelp. Unbiased reviews from other consumers can help you make an informed decision about your dental care.
Schedule a Consult
After you’ve reviewed your insurance plan, consulted family and friends for recommendations, and researched dentists on the web, you probably have a short list of potential providers in mind. To narrow it down even further, consider setting up a consultation with the dentists on your list.
This can help you get a better sense of what their offices are like, whether their staff members are friendly, and whether or not their personality and care philosophy align with your own. Most dentists will allow potential patients to come into their offices for a consultation before they book their first appointment.
You want high quality care from your dental provider. If you’re searching for a new dentist, start by reviewing which providers are covered by your insurance, and then consult family and friends and unbiased patient reviews for suggestions. You may also want to schedule a few consults to determine which dental practice is the right one for your family. Taking the time towill help you make the best decision for your dental care.
About the author: Clifford Alton is a dental hygienist based in Seattle Washington. He writes extensively on issues related to health and dental concerns.