How To Choose A DentistMay 16, 2023
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Submitted by: Dr. Joseph Marcius
One of the most difficult decisions today is how to choose a dentist. A would be patient is faced with the choice of how to narrow down from a simple list of names a dentist who would be right for him or her. This task can seem daunting if one lives in a populated area that may be able to support several dentists. While those who live in rural or remote areas may be forced by necessity to see a single local dentist, urban dwellers can find literally hundreds of dentists residing within a fairly small area. To add to the confusion dentistry has become a specialized practice with some dentists only treating one type of patient (age, problem-related etc) or a dentist who only uses a specialized type of technique within his or her practice. Here are some guidelines in narrowing down the field. Consider the following factors in choosing a dentist-
1.Like everything else location is key. Even if you live in an area heavily populated with dentists you want to make sure the location of your chosen dentist is somewhere you can easily go and someplace you want to be. Ask yourself-Is this location difficult to get to? Is parking a problem? Do I feel safe in this location? It is a guarantee if you are not happy with your dentist location it is much less likely you will make the needed visits.
2.When visiting the dentist consider not only the chair side manner of the dentist but the personality of his or her office staff. If the staff does not even try to make you feel comfortable and welcome consider going elsewhere. While it is most important that you feel comfortable with the dentist you will have to deal with his office staff so a brusque or even rude office staff is an indication of poor patient service.
3.Ask the dentist what procedures he does not do. As mentioned before many dentists do not do specialized procedures. Consider this in making your choice. If you do not need much more than routine dental care this may not be a problem but if you are constantly having to seek someone else out for specialized care (root canals, crowns, etc) you may want to find a dentist who does it all.
4.Ask the dentist what type of anesthesia he or she uses. If the dentist insists on only using sedation dentistry consider moving on to another choice. Today s skilled dentist will have an array of choices available for his or her patients to choose from. A dentist should be able to use whatever type of anesthesia that makes her or her patient the most comfortable.
5.Finally consider billing practices of the dentist. While the type of insurance the dentist accepts will be a factor don t let it make the final decision. If a dental office is willing to work with patients on billing arrangements for whatever insurance doesn t cover this is a sign that patient s needs are a priority. In addition most dental offices are set up to handle insurance billing this should not be a task the patient should have to take on.
Sometimes even after these factors have been considered there is no clear answer on how to choose a dentist. Some of these steps can help with the process-
1.Ask family and friends for referrals. Generally speaking if someone close to you is happy with their dentist you will be too.
2.Consider using a dentist referral service. While these services cannot give personal recommendations they can help narrow down the list by giving you the names of dentist that fit your basic qualifications such as location, specialty or type of insurance accepted.
3.Call a local college or university. Many of these places have on-site clinics that can give you referrals.
About the Author: Dr. Joseph Wilbanks, DDS, is a popular Toccoa, Georgia dentist specializing in Smile Makeovers, Dental Implants and Toccoa Sedation Dentistry. Visit Northeast Georgia Smile Center the
or call (706) 886-9439