There are so many important choices to make when considering your dental health care and a great first step is choosing the right dentist. Your dentist will be a long-term care provider so a good fit is important. So if you are looking to make your first appointment with a new dentist, here are some qualities you should look for when making your decision.
First, call or visit the dentist’s office and check for the following:
- Do the office hours work with your schedule?
- Is the location close to either work or home?
- Does the dentist participate in your health plan?
- Are all fees and any payment plans shared and discussed before appointments and procedures? Is there an appointment cancellation policy/fees?
- How are out-of-office emergencies handled? Is there a supporting dentist on call?
Determining a comfort level with the office procedures is important but even more important is feeling confident in your choice of dentist and dental care staff. This requires an office visit and generally an appointment. It is also a good idea to ask for recommendations from family, friends and even your family doctor. They will have a personal recommendation based on their experiences which can be very helpful.
- Does the staff take time to make you feel welcome and not rushed?
- Is the dentist and dental staff helpful and willing to answer any questions you may have?
- Do they take time to educate and explain preventative care and any required procedures so you feel involved and informed of your treatment?
- Are standard safety procedures followed such as the use of gloves and surgical masks?
- Is the office and all equipment clean and well cared for?
- What type of anesthesia is used to help you feel comfortable during dental procedures?
- Does the dentist and staff stay current by attending conferences and educational seminars? By staying up on the latest research, procedures and technologies in the dental industry, a dentist can more effectively make treatment recommendations.
Take the guesswork out of choosing your dentist. By doing your research , you will have all the information you need to make the right choice in choosing a dentist that will be an important part of your health care team.