How many times can you remember feeling a toothache or pain, then thinking, if I rinse my mouth out or brush my teeth, everything will be fine, and I won’t have to go see a dentist… That is called dental anxiety and is estimated to affect more than one-third of the population, including 12% suffering from extreme dental fear! Meaning… When we move to a new area or maybe our long-term dentist chooses to move; we now must search out a new dental office that will make us feel at the very least as comfortable and cared for as our previous dental office did. And as many of us know, this search can be a literal tooth-pulling process. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered here with a few great tips that can help narrow down the options and reveal the best dental office for you and your family.
1. Check the Insurance
Comfortability is of course one of the most important factors in choosing a dental office. We believe this should also include financial comfortability and giving patients options to enable them to afford their dental care. Dental procedures like fillings or root canals can be expensive, leading to financial hardships for many families. Most quality dental offices welcome the ability to discuss their insurance coverage which gives that patient the knowledge and security to make the best decision for them whether they have insurance or not. If you do have insurance coverage, they can be a very good resource to inform you of the dental offices in your area that will cover your care. It’s important to always ensure your dentist accepts your family’s insurance plan before scheduling an appointment.
2. Location and Hours
Hasty decisions are never the best when deciding whom you trust to care for you and your family’s dental care. Keeping your options open to as many suitable dental offices as possible is a good decision if possible. It’s not very helpful to you if your dentist isn’t open or available when you are! We must remember to be creative in our search; however, let’s not fall into the trap of finding the closest dental office to our homes. Perhaps there is a good office near our place of work or where our kids go to school. Remembering to make our lives work for us as much as we work for it can help ease the entire search process.
3. Look into the Dentist’s Credentials
For the most part, we all want the best possible for ourselves as well as for the members of our families. And when it comes to trusting someone to work on something as delicate as your mouth and teeth, finding the right dental office with very well-qualified dentists is crucial! I know what you are thinking…
“How am I supposed to research all the qualifications of each dentist in my area?!”
Thankfully, being in the internet age, any credible and highly qualified dental office will have their own website that you can go to and not only read about the dental office and read about their values but also find information about each of the doctors in their practice and what the doctors’ qualifications are. Don’t just stop there however, it’s important to know they are continuing to improve their medical education and knowledge as the dental industry constantly evolves and improves.
4. Check the Reviews
Don’t judge a book by its cover. This age-old saying not only applies to dental offices that may appear to be advanced and new but also offices that may look old and unkempt. Getting to know untold information and experiences comes from the reviews from current and past patients. One important tip is to look for recurring themes in the reviews you read. Let’s also not forget to also get both sides of the review board story; the good and the bad. If one review claims the dentist is incredible and skilled but another review claims they were misdiagnosed, you’re probably in the clear when judging the reviews’ reliability. If, however you start to see wild inconsistencies of ridiculously high praise or the reviews are filled with negative and harsh feedback, it may be a good idea to go elsewhere. When it’s all said and done, we must make the best decision for ourselves and what is in our best interest.
5. Equipment and Service Options
As some of us more experienced visitors know, dental offices have very similar floorplans, equipment, and services as one another. That being said, in the last two decades or so dental offices, their equipment, and the amenities they can provide us patients has improved immensely. Depending on the oral needs of us or our family members, specific services and procedures may be needed in our dental office. The last thing any of us want to do is juggle several different dentists, locations, and bills! This is why doing the due diligence and getting a variety of services from our dental office is imperative. Dentists often offer family plans, emergency dental care, cosmetic services, restorative services. If you find a dentist’s office that offers all of these options, they’re a great choice for you and your family.
6. The Waiting Room
Ahhh the dreaded waiting room… The way we think of a waiting room or as I like to think of it, the transition area, needs to evolve and become more realistic. Before we get into the actual waiting part of the transition area, one way or another we will be spending some time filling out paperwork or simply seated before we’re seen by our dentist. Therefore, it’s important we feel comfortable with the entire setting from the furniture to the paint and artwork on the walls. Settling any anxiousness you may have or simply enjoying yourself while you prepare for a little self-care should be an important factor in the dental office experience. Finally, when considering the overall belief that most of us want the very best doctors possible, the best food possible, the best living situation possible; it makes complete sense the best dentists and dental offices will be highly sought after. Thus, making waiting inevitable, which is okay! Thinking of dental visits as just that, a visit, allows the mind to get to a place of comfort and ease; further aiding in the pleasant dental office experience.
Making the decision to trust a dentist with your health often be a daunting task. However, if you make sure to follow the tips above and be sure to check they can cover all your family’s needs, the financial options they can provide you, and the level of comfortability you feel while in their dental office; you will be good hands. If you’re looking for a new dentist, contact Southridge Dental and we will take care of your every need!