Are you trying to find a good dentist but feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options that are out there? It is easy enough to search online or via the American Dental Association (ADA) to find dentists – but how do you know whether or not they are the right choice?
Make no mistake it is worth taking a bit of time and doing your research before you actually settle on a dentist. To help you come to the right decision, there are five important tips that you should use.
Check for Insurance Coverage or Dental Savings Plan
The cost of dental healthcare can be prohibitive at times and will easily start to add up. That is why you should check whether or not it will be covered by your insurance, or if the dentist has a dental savings plan that is suitable.
Assuming you do have dental insurance you should check with your insurance provider to find a list of participating dentists. If it is through your employer, it may be best to ask the Human Resources (HR) department about it.
On the other hand if you don’t have dental insurance, you may want to shop around for a dentist that has a good dental savings plan. Don’t be shy and make it a point to take about the costs upfront so that you can avoid potentially painful misconceptions.
Find Out Their Qualifications
Needless to say you will want to make sure the dentist you’re visiting is qualified and their quality of treatment is good. To do that you should look into:
- Where they received their degree (and whether it is accredited)
- How long they’ve been in practice
- If they are board-certified and have a valid license in your jurisdiction
- Whether they’re a member of the ADA or other reputable dental associations
Most dentists will be glad to provide that information, and if they aren’t then it may be a red flag.
Make Sure it is Convenient
Ideally you should try to find a dentist that is convenient to visit – both in terms of their location as well as their opening hours.
In most cases a convenient location would be somewhere near to your home or workplace. It should be a place that is easy to get to, and you may want to take into account the parking situation too.
Similarly convenient opening hours will depend on your own normal schedule and working hours. For example if you work a 9 to 5 job, you should look for a dentist that opens their doors early, stays late, or works on weekends.
At the end of the day your goal should be to make sure it isn’t a hassle to visit your dentist, so that you can easily make your regular appointments – or head over in an emergency.
Get Some Recommendations
One of the best ways to find a good dentists is by asking others for recommendations. Aside from your friends and family, you may want to ask your neighbors or workmates to find out which dentists they visit.
Aside from face-to-face recommendations, online reviews can be a good resource too. In particular you may want to look at the ratings and reviews on Google or other platforms, which will give you a better idea of the experience other patients have had.
In particular you may want to look for any red flags in terms of the quality of treatment, costs, or cleanliness.
Book an Appointment To See if You’re Comfortable
Before you decide on a dentist, you should book an appointment and see how comfortable you feel when you visit them. That first appointment is a way for you to check out their office and get to know the dentist better.
When you book that first appointment, you’ll be able to gauge their availability and how easy it is to find a suitable slot. At the appointment itself you can look around the office to see how clean it is and whether or not the staff are friendly.
Of course your main goal will be to interact with the dentist and find out if they’re a good fit. Be sure to ask lots of questions to determine whether or not you’ll be comfortable being treated by them in the long term.
It should be noted that looking for a dentist in Sheffield or any other location can take quite a bit of time. Not only are there many options to consider, but you will need to narrow down the list and research each one.
That being said it is worth investing that time right from the get go and finding a dentist that is reliable, convenient to visit, and that you feel comfortable with. The more thorough your research, the better it will be both for your oral as well as financial health.