If the notion of going to the dentist makes you nervous, you’re not alone. However, your dentist is your oral health partner. A dentist’s routine dental examinations and treatment can help keep your teeth, mouth, and gums healthy and avoid dental disease.
Furthermore, poor dental health might contribute to other problems, such as cardiovascular disease. So how do you go about finding the finest dentist for you? Here are some crucial considerations to bear in mind.
1. Obtain Referrals
Begin by compiling a list of potential dentists. To do so, seek advice from family, friends, and other healthcare providers. Next, investigate the dentists’ credentials and experience on Healthgrades.com. As you narrow down your options, contact each dentist’s office and request a consultation appointment to meet and interview the dentist.
2. Investigate the Dentist’s Credentials
One of the most crucial elements to consider when selecting a dentist is board certification. It certifies that the dentist has the requisite training, abilities, and experience to provide general dentistry services. Also, ensure that the dentist has no prior malpractice claims or disciplinary measures. On Healthgrades.com and state websites, you may identify the dentist’s medical school, training hospital, certifications, and malpractice and disciplinary history.
3. Think About the Dentist’s Experience
When it comes to oral health, experience counts. The more experience a dentist has with a problem or operation, the better the outcome. Additional education is required for dental specializations such as orthodontics and endodontics. Inquire about the dentist’s experience treating patients with your unique issue. For example, if you have dental anxiety, speak with your dentist about the successful ways with other fearful patients. If you need a specific procedure, find out how many the dentist has performed and learn about complication rates—both the complications the dentist has experienced and your risk of issues.
4. Take Gender into Account
It’s critical to feel at ease with your dentist’s gender because you’ll be discussing confidential information. When it comes to specific sorts of dental treatment, your gender is a crucial factor to consider. Dentists are also growing more adept at treating men and women differently. Please inquire with the dentist about their most recent training and experience, particularly in relation to your condition and gender.
5. Request Information on Telehealth Capabilities
Dentists can use telecommunications technology, such as two-way video, smartphones, and email, to diagnose and treat some patients; this is known as telehealth. Inquire if the dentist provides telemedicine services. Telehealth does not replace hands-on in-person office appointments, but it does mean fewer trips to the dentist for many patients. Some illnesses can be handled by reporting symptoms and vital signs from home and scheduling a “virtual visit” with your practitioner. Telehealth is also useful for routine check-ups and mild complaints, making it a practical choice. Check to see if your health insurance covers telehealth services.
6. Assess Communication Style
Choose a dentist with whom you feel at ease discussing and who understands your information needs. When you meet the dentist for the first time, ask a question and see how they answer. Are they open to your queries, and do they respond in a way that you can understand? Did you feel rushed or engaged when you left? Find a dentist interested in getting to know you, take your treatment choices into account, and respect your decision-making process.
7. Examine Patient Reviews
Reading what other people have to say about a dentist might give you an idea of how they conduct general dentistry and run their dental practice. Patient ratings often reflect people’s experiences with arranging appointments, wait times, the office environment, and the politeness of the office employees. You can find out how well patients trust the dentist, how much time they spend with them, and how well they answer inquiries.
8. Understand What Your Insurance Covers
It is a practical matter to have dental insurance. You may need to find a dentist that participates in your plan to obtain the greatest dental insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your care. When choosing a dentist from your plan, you should still examine credentials, expertise, outcomes, and hospital quality.