HOW TO FIND A NEW DENTIST
How to Find a New Dentist
Life is dynamic. Things change. Circumstances may change with you and you may have to look for a new dentist. This can happen when you move, or your old dentist moves. Or it may be, a remote possibility though, that you are not satisfied with the performance of your dentist and you want to look for a new one. These are some example situations where you have to look for a new dentist.
Looking for a new dentist is not something you do every other day. Therefore, you must go through this exercise very carefully, since your health is dependent on this decision. Here are some hints on how to find a dentist in houston. The American Dental Association also supports these.
This is probably the best thing to do. Try to find the dentist in your area possessing the best reputation. How do you do that? You must benefit from the experience and wisdom of others. Only, if you get conflicting advice, then decide which source of information seems to you to be more reliable. Reliability of information will depend on how much first-hand experience the source has. You can contact the following for advice on this matter.
- Members of your family– Members of your family who have some relevant information to offer are the best and most reliable. But count only on firsthand information.
- Friends– Your circle of friends is going to be wider than your family. They will also be a useful source of reliable information. Again, do not trust hearsay information unless it is supported by first-hand knowledge from other sources.
- Neighbors– If you have shifted into a new locality your neighbors are going to be a source of advice in almost all matters. They will also give you good advice about dentists in the area and their reputation, along with their own experience.
- Co-workers– This is another quick source of information relevant to your locality. Most often the circle of coworkers is going to be very wide, and all will have information pertinent to the locality. Further, co-workers normally discuss such affairs among themselves. Any consensus information is going to be pretty reliable.
- Family Doctor– Your family doctor is likely to make an informed recommendation to help you find a proper dentist of his trust.
- The Local Pharmacist– The local pharmacist is also going to be a useful source of information.
- The Current Dentist– If you are not changing your dentist due to dissatisfaction, but due to other factors like having to move, or movement of your dentist, it is best to ask for his recommendation. If a dentist is moving, he or she will most likely suggest to you an alternate dentist in the locality.
- Local Dental Authority– Your local or state dental authority can make an unbiased recommendation. The ADA maintains a list of local and state dental societies on its website, which can be easily accessed.
Seeing is Better than Believing
- The above effort will result in a reasonable list of dentists to choose from. Now it is time to get first-hand information about their facilities. You cannot keep visiting too many dentists and interview them. Go through the list of dentists, select two or three dentists who stand-out from the others. Visit these at your convenience, and at a time when they are not too busy. Look at their set-up, and how they are handling the patients.
What Should You Look for When Choosing a Dentist?
There is going to be a long-term partnership between you and your dentist. That is the reason for this scrutiny. Find answers to the following questions.
- Dentists Professional Qualifications– What are the professional credentials of the dentist and his team. Is he a general dentist or has any higher certifications?
- Continuous Professional Development– Has the dentist been attending any continuous Professional Development training?
- Staff Attitude– Does the staff of the dentist appear polite and helpful?
- Does the office have all facilities under one-roof? Or do patients have to refer to other dentists quite often?
- Office Appearance- What appearance do the office and the waiting room give? Is it neat, friendly and welcoming? Do you feel comfortable inside?
- Financial Plans– Does the clinic accept your dental insurance plans? Are the procedures simple? Is your dental plan accepted? Are there any restrictions on any side? Is the information about all expenses and fees willingly shared before starting treatment? How do the rates compare with other d dentists in the vicinity having an equally good reputation?
- Working Hours– How They Suit You- What are the working hours of the dentist’s office? How do those suit you? This question is probably the most important one after the medical qualifications and expertise after the dentist.
- Office Location– Is the office of the dentist easy to access from your workplace? Or home? How long will it take to reach the dental office?
- Anesthesia Facilities– Does the clinic have adequate facilities for dental anesthesia? What type of anesthesia is he or she certified to use?
- Emergency dental Treatment– Does the office provide emergency dental treatment outside the normal working hours? Or is the clinic cooperating with another clinic for handling emergencies? How far are the participating clinics from your home location?
- Preventive Dentistry– How does the dentist feel about preventive dentistry. Will he or she cooperate with you in preventing dental disease rather than curing one when it comes?
- Missed Appointments– What is the policy on missed appointments?
- Family Dentistry– If you have children, you will be concerned about their dental treatment. Does the office have a qualified pediatric dentist?
The Decision Process
Having read all this, you might just think about forgetting all this hassle! Don’t! Remember again it is going to be a lifelong partnership. And it affects not only your dental health but your general health and well-being, especially in old age. To make things simple yet logical, you can make a 3-column table, listing all these points, like the one below. Allot a score 1 to 9 and importance 0 to 2 for each parameter. For example, if you have no children, and are not likely to have any, family dentistry will get a zero for importance.