Finding a new dentist can be a challenge. The following tips can help you navigate the process so you find a dentist that you love.
1. Practice Type
Consider your needs in a dentist. Do you mainly need someone for routine cleanings and exams, or do you expect to have extensive orthodontic work in the future? Further, do you want a family dentist that can see everyone in your family or just a pediatric dentist for the kids? By deciding on the practice type first, you can narrow down your choices.
2. Insurance Network
It's best to find a dentist that is inside your insurance network, otherwise, their services may not be covered or you may need to pay an out-of-network fee. Keep in mind that in a multi-dentist practice, not every dentist may be in your insurance network so you need to check to make sure that everyone you see is covered. If you have your heart set on an out of network dentist, talk with them. Sometimes they will be able to join your network or you may be able to add them on as an accepted out of network provider.
3. Location and Hours
Don't underestimate the power of convenience. Look for a dentist that is located near your home, work, or school so that you won't be rushing across town for routine visits. It's also important to make sure the dentist's hours work well with your schedule, especially if you have difficulty taking time off for appointments. A dentist with early morning, evening, and weekend availability ensures that you can set up an appointment that won't interfere with your other responsibilities.
4. Experience and Reviews
Ask the dentist about their experience. Questions like where they studied, how long they have been in practice, and where their specialties lie are perfectly acceptable and expected. It's also a good idea to look for reviews. There are many online portals that provide reviews for local dentists and medical professionals. Some insurance networks also allow online users to provide reviews.
5. Payment Options
It's important to understand the payment rules, especially if you will be paying for services out of pocket. Some dentists require all payment at the time of service, while others may offer financing or payment plans. Make sure that the dentist you choose provides options that will work with your preferences and requirements, otherwise you may not be able to afford their services.
Contact a dentist near you to learn more.