7 Questions To Ask Before Choosing Your Dentist
If you're a little scared to go to the dentist, you're not alone.
In fact, 60% of adults have anxiety about going to the dentist.
Another 5-10% have "dental phobia," an actual mental disorder.
But, there's no getting around it.
We have to go to the dentist.
You need to go at least once every year, if not twice, just for an evaluation.
And when you start feeling pain in your teeth or your gums, you need to go in immediately.
Pretending that a problem isn't there doesn't fix it.
Dealing with the pain isn't a treatment option.
So if you've been too scared to find a dentist, or you've moved and need a new dentist, or you don't have a dentist for whatever reason, we're here to help.
Below are seven questions to ask before you decide on your new dentist.
1. What's their specialty?
Some dentists only specialize in treating certain conditions or performing certain treatments.
Some are experienced in several areas.
Dentists can specialize in numerous things, from family dentistry, cosmetics, implants, and orthodontics.
Check their work history to see how many times they have performed a certain procedure.
If you need a dentist for your kids, make sure they're kid-friendly.
If you're going to the dentist for something specific, make sure they're equipped to help you.
2. Can they give references and do they show strong reviews?
Just like an employer would do when hiring a new employee, you should ask for references and check reviews.
This is an excellent way to see if the dentist is qualified to give you the care you need.
You should ask for five references, three from former patients, and two from other healthcare professionals.
Any dentist in practice should have at least three satisfied patients.
If they don't they're either brand new, or they aren't doing a very good job.
Even someone brand new should have 3 people that can vouch for them.
Then you need two references from fellow healthcare professionals.
If your dentist can't come up with two references from other healthcare professionals, they might not be respected in their field.
Then give the references a call. What good is a list of references if you don't use them?
Before you get this far in the process, you can also get reviews from the internet.
Google, Yelp, Facebook and the like are great resources to use when searching for a dentist to talk to.
3. Do they have a satisfaction guarantee?
Don't confuse satisfaction with results.
By law, dentists can't guarantee results.
But, they can guarantee your satisfaction.
If you walk into an office and see a sign that says something similar to this, "Unless you're totally satisfied with your visit today, it's FREE!" you know you're off to a good start.
Your dentist should want each of his clients to leave feeling satisfied.
A good dentist can hang that sign in his office and never have to worry about giving out free office visits.
4. What's their "waiting" policy?
Aside from the fear of the dentist, one of the biggest complaints about the visit is the wait time in the waiting room.
Going to the dentist is often stressful enough without having to spend your entire afternoon in the waiting room.
Some dentists offices will put a guarantee on your wait time.
Kind of like when your pizza isn't there in 30 minutes, it's free.
In this case, if you're in the waiting room longer than 30 minutes, the dentist will give you some type of discount on your visit.
Things do happen, and sometimes a long wait is inevitable, but it's good to see an office that respects your time.
5. Do they have payment plans?
It might even be the most stressful part.
A successful will have payment plan options set up to help you avoid any financial stress related to your visit.
Whether cash or insurance, good dentists will allow you to stretch the cost of your care into monthly installments.
You should be able to get the care you need and deserve without it becoming a financial burden.
6. Will they teach you prevention
If you don't want to go into the dentist's office, you should at least be doing all you can at home to keep your mouth healthy.
There are several ways the dentist can teach prevention.
It can be a simple conversation during your visit.
It can be books or pamphlets referred to you or given to you while you're at the office.
Some dentists also have a newsletter sent out on a regular basis that covers prevention techniques.
Learning prevention will ensure you get the most out of each office visit, keep unwanted problems from arising, and save you money in the long run.
7. Do they have free/low-cost consultations for new patients?
We'd never buy a car without taking it out for a test drive right?
So we shouldn't be expected to choose our dentist without seeing if they fit our needs.
Your dentist should offer a free consultation so you can experience the office and get to know the staff and dentist.
The dentist should answer any and all questions you have.
There should also be no pressure for care. Unlike visiting a car dealership, you should not try to be sold.
If you don't like the office, you simply move on.
But if you do like it, you can move forward with your care.
Time to decide
Now that you have all the questions you need to ask your dentist, it's time to start asking them.
If you're still looking for offices to talk to, the dentists at Hylan Dental Care are ready to speak with you.
Maybe you're nervous with a lot of questions, and that's okay.
They'll answer any question you have and make you feel comfortable while you're there. Our goal is to make your dental fear disappear. Find out how.
Just click the button below to get started.