Do you know what to look for when choosing a dentist? Going to a dentist is more than a yearly consult, it is a long-term relationship designed to achieve the best oral health possible. Dentists are more than that person who cleans your teeth and knows dental terminology, they are your guide to a healthy mouth. Oral health is just as important as general health.
Picking the right dentist is not easy. The American Dental Association offers these suggestions:
- Ask for recommendations from your family, friend, neighbors, and co-workers.
- Ask your pharmacist and your primary care physician.
- In case you are moving, ask your current dentist for recommendations.
- The ADA provides a list of local and state dental societies in its web (www.ada.org)
After doing some research and asking around for dentists, you should think about what are your needs as a patient, the appropriate dentist should be able to meet your needs, so consider asking these questions:
- Is the dentist office easy to get to from home or work?
- What are the office hours and are they convenient for you?
- Is the dentist a member of the ADA?
- Where was the dentist educated and trained?
- What is the dentist’s office policy on missed appointments?
- Is information provided about all fees and payment plans before treatment is scheduled?
- What type of anesthesia is the dentist certified to administer?
- If there is an emergency outside of office hours what kind arrangements are made?
- Is the office neat and clean?
- Does the doctor attends conferences and continuing education workshops?
To find the right dentist, schedule a meet and greet appointment to meet the dentist and the staff. Don’t be shy about asking a million questions, make a list of questions and bring them to the appointment. Most of the time, dentists like when you to ask a lot of questions because it means you are devoted to your health, and you’ll be a team when it comes to it. Also, bring your dental history to the meet and greet if you want to ask more specific questions. Another benefit of the meet and greet, is that you can get a feel of what is like to be a patient, and you’re able to see how welcoming the office is.
When picking a dentist, the ADA suggests calling or visiting more than one dentist before selecting one.
Dr. Steven Hagerman is dedicated to providing excellent dental care in a relaxed, family-friendly setting. Learn about our services at Hagerman Dental Care, call our office at (651) 646-2392.