It’s been years since you’ve been to the dentist for a cleaning or exam, and you’re getting a bit worried. But, you’re not even really sure where to start looking when it comes to finding a new dentist. There’s got to be a better way to find someone to care for your teeth than typing “dentist” into a Google search.
As it turns out, there is. If you need a new dental professional for your family, these tips can help you find a dentist who’s an ideal match.
Get Insight from Others
You trust people’s opinions when it comes to where to eat and what to wear. It’s also worth trusting people’s opinions when it comes to your dental care. Ask your family and friends who they see for dental work and cleanings and if they are happy with their dentist. You can further your research by checking out reviews and testimonials from other patients online.
Consider Insurance and Costs
If you have dental insurance, whether or not a dentist is part of your insurer’s network will most likely play a big part when it comes to determining if he is the dentist for you or not. You don’t want to end up paying out of pocket if you don’t need to if the dentist isn’t in network. Also find out what procedures are covered by your insurance and which ones aren’t. Some insurers will provide complete coverage after a deductible is paid. Others might expect you to contribute half of the cost, or more, for some procedures.
If insurance doesn’t play into your decision, get a good idea of what the dentist charges for services. Find out how much a cleaning will cost you, what X-rays cost and what payment methods the dentist accepts. You don’t want to show up for your appointment with only a credit card, only to find out that the dentist only accepts cash or checks.
Look At Availability
Some dentists might not have the best availability. For example, some only practice four days a week and never on weekends. Other dental offices are open on weekends or into the evening hours to accommodate patients with work or school schedules to think about. If a dentist you’re considering working with has limited hours, you might never be able to schedule an appointment unless you have a fairly flexible schedule yourself.
Get the Scoop on Licensing
After finishing dental school, a dentist needs to pass exams or complete additional training before he can be licensed by a state dental board. Check with the dental board in your state to make sure the license of the dentist you are considering is current. The dental board can also let you know if there have been any complaints, legal actions or disciplinary measures taken against the dentist.
Consider Your Needs
Different dentists cater to different groups of patients. For example, some dentists work specifically with patients who might have dental phobia or fears, offering options such as sedation dentistry to make the dental treatment more bearable for those patients. If you’ve been putting off a much-needed dental visit because of fear, talk to any potential dentists about their sedation options or if they even offer sedation.
Another thing to ask about is whether the dentist is available on call for emergency treatments. It could be that you crack a tooth one day or wake up in the middle of the night with a severely painful abscess. Find out if the dentist will be available around the clock or what options the practice offers for emergency care. Some dentists might refer you to an emergency dental practice, for example.
If You Need a Specialist
Dental specialists, such as oral surgeons and periodontists, need to meet additional requirements beyond those of a general dentist. If you need oral surgery, for example, you’ll want to find a surgeon who has years of training after dental school, specifically in oral surgery. If you are dealing with gum disease and your general dentist has recommended finding a periodontist, you’ll want to look for one who has completed years of residency training in periodontics in a program accredited by the American Dentistry Association after completing dental school.
Assess Your Experience
Once you’ve found a dentist or specialist and have gone in for an appointment, rate how you felt the visit went. If you didn’t feel comfortable with the dentist or felt that he was rushing you or not taking your concerns seriously, you can start your search over again and look for a new dentist before your next visit. Remember that the health of your mouth is important enough to find a dentist that you really like.
Whether you’re looking for a periodontist, oral surgeon or general dentist in Miami, Florida, consider the practice of Gallardo . Dr. John Paul Gallardo are periodontists who also offer implant dentistry and a variety of other dental procedures. Dr. Juan Arroyo, their oral surgeon, specializes in procedures such as wisdom teeth removal and oral pathology. To schedule a consultation with the dentists, call (305) 447-1447 today.