Choosing a Dentist Is an Important Decision
Here at Comfort Care Family Dental in Naperville, we understand it’s important to know how to choose a good dentist because you’re establishing a relationship that ideally will last for years to come. You want someone with a high level of skill and professionalism, someone who will take the time to become thoroughly familiar with your case and your needs and provide excellent care. You want to feel comfortable and that you can depend on the professional to provide swift and effective treatment in the event of a dental emergency.
You can of course understand the desired goal here and as a practical matter still be uncertain about how to find the right dentist. But choosing a dentist isn’t too daunting a task if you go about it in an organized and knowledgeable fashion.
We recommend that when considering how to pick a dentist, you go through the following four steps:
Choosing a Dentist Step #1: Look at the Basics
As you consider how to choose the right dentist, look at the factors that will make it easy and practical for you to make and keep your appointments for cleanings and checkups. Specifically, evaluate the following:
- Where is the dentist’s office located? It should be convenient to get to from your home or workplace.
- What are the office hours? Is the dentist available at times when it’s practical for you to go in for an appointment?
- Are you going to be able to communicate with the dentist? If you need an interpreter or translator, will one be available?
- Is the dentist a member of the American Dental Association? You want a dentist who meets the high standards of that professional organization.
- If you have dental insurance, is this particular dentist in network? The insurance won’t save you any money if the dentist doesn’t take it.
Choosing a Dentist Step #2: Start Searching
Now that you’ve established the parameters, you can start looking at the possibilities that, superficially at least, meet your needs. When choosing a dentist, here are some worthwhile places to look:
- Newspaper advertisements
- Online advertisements
- Online reviews. These are sometimes found on social media, and they are often useful. Just remember that a particular reviewer’s experience may have been atypical and not accurately reflect how the practice generally operates.
- The dental practice’s website
- Advertisements that arrive by post
- The American Dental Association’s Find-A-Dentistonline tool
- The local dental society. They’ll give you a list of dental practices near you.
- Friends and family. If someone you trust thinks he or she has a great dentist, it’s worth checking that person out.
It’s possible that choosing a dentist poses special obstacles because you have limited funds and no dental insurance. If that’s the case, check with your local health department and area dental schools to see if they have provisions for caring for people in your situation.
Choosing a Dentist Step #3: Making Contact
After completing Step #2, there’s a good chance you will have found a dentist who looks good on paper, so to speak. But you still need some personal interaction to see if you feel comfortable with that person and he or she inspires trust. You should be able to schedule a consultation with the dentist before making a final decision about becoming a patient.
When you go for that consultation, look over the office. Does everything seem neat, clean, comfortable, and professional?
Bring your dental records to acquaint the dentist with your dental history and current treatment needs. This will help the two of you communicate to better effect.
Don’t be afraid to raise any concerns or anxiety you may have as a result of past experiences with dentists. Remember that this is in effect the dentist’s job interview, not yours.
In fact, don’t be shy about presenting any questions you may have. If this particular professional is the right choice for you, he or she will be happy to answer.
Here are some questions that can elicit illuminating responses:
- How does the dental practice handle emergencies outside normal office hours?
- Is the office staff conversant with your dental insurance plan?
- Will the office make a permanent file of your medical and dental history? How exactly does that work, and who will have access to it?
- Does the dentist provide good information and advice on preventing dental problems?
Choosing a Dentist Step #4: Making the Final Decision
Thanks to undertaking the previous steps, you should now have all the information you need to pick a dentist and feel confident about your choice. Ideally, you’ve found a highly competent and compassionate professional in whom you can place your trust.
If you live in the Naperville area, we’re confident that Comfort Care Family Dental is a superior choice to address your dental health and dental care needs. We invite you to put us through the vetting process described above and, if you like what you discover, to contact us for an appointment.