Tips for Finding a Good Dentist Near You
Choosing a dentist is an important decision that will have a significant impact not just on your oral health but on your overall wellbeing. Issues in the mouth can increase the risk of serious medical conditions such as heart problems and diabetes. So, a key step in finding a good dentist near you is to look for one that demonstrates an understanding of how oral health impacts the rest of your body. But what else should you be doing when trying to track down the right dentist for you?
It pays to take time and care in choosing your dental practice. Your decision will have ramifications that go far beyond your first visit. You and our dentist are likely to be long-term partners in your oral health care, so you need to find one you can be comfortable with.
Besides being qualified and experienced, a top dentist will be able to put his or her patients at ease and answer any questions or concerns they may have. A good dental practice will have that all-important personal touch, treating you as an individual, not just a patient number. If on initial contact with your dentist, you get a good overall first impression, you’ve probably made the right choice.
Questions to Ask a Local Dentist
Getting to the stage of the first consultation with your new dentist requires some research to put you on the right track in your quest to find the best dental professional near you. Here are a few questions you might like to think about asking:
- Is the dentist affiliated with any professional dental associations? Membership of organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) shows that the dentist is committed to high ethical standards.
- Do they keep up to date with the latest dental advances and techniques? A good dentist continues to be hungry for more knowledge after earning their Doctorate of Dental Medicine (DDM).
- Is the dental office conveniently located? Find out how long it will take you to get to your dentist from your home or workplace. If you have children, is the practice near their school?
- Does the practice place an emphasis on preventive care? Look for a dental office that has its own in-house dental hygienists and offers regular check-ups and oral cancer screening.
- Can I get emergency treatment outside normal office hours? If your dentist is unable to see you personally in the event of an emergency, do they work with an emergency referral service?
Back in the day, people found a dentist by asking for recommendations from friends and work colleagues. This is still a good method, but nowadays you can broaden your research via the internet to get a wider range of reviews. One word of caution: testimonials on generic review sites may be based on ulterior motives, so you’ll get a better picture from reviews by real patients.
Are Specialist Dental Services Available?
When searching for a reputable dentist, it might be worth considering whether they perform a variety of specialties. Currently, you may need only preventive dental services such as check-ups and cleaning, but specific problems may arise further down the road, requiring specialist attention such as:
Periodontics. Gum infections (periodontal disease) pose a bigger threat as we get older, with 50 percent of adults in the U.S. suffering from this problem. If left untreated, periodontitis may require surgery, and it can also spread to vital organs of your body such as the heart and lungs.
Cosmetic dentistry. Whatever your age, if you have crooked or misaligned teeth, an experienced cosmetic dentist will be able to carry out orthodontic treatment to give you back your smile and improve the bite function.
Wisdom teeth removal. In many cases, wisdom teeth become impacted or misaligned and need taking out. Removal of an impacted wisdom tooth is typically more difficult than a standard extraction, especially if the tooth has become rooted in the bone.
Implants. The cutting-edge technology behind dental implants brings many advantages over more conventional methods of replacing missing teeth. While dentures and bridges can lead to bone weakening, dental implants actually promote bone growth.
Root canals. In the hands of a specialist, the once-feared root canal will be a virtually painless procedure to save a badly decayed or infected tooth, thanks to advances in dental technology and techniques.
Another aspect to think about is if you have kids does the dentist have the proper tools to provide your child with comfortable dental care. Dr. Chu a Huntington Beach pediatric dentist says that children's dentist visits should be enjoyable and a huge part of that is that the dentist has tools that are the proper size to work in children's mouths.
How Can I Pay for My Dental Treatment?
Another important factor in finding a good dentist near you is the financing options available for patients. People in the U.S. spend more than $100 billion a year on dental treatment. Costs in 2016 averaged $400 to a few thousand dollars for scaling and root planing to $1,000 to $3,000 for a single tooth implant. If you have children, traditional braces will cost a few thousand dollars, with removable or clear braces probably twice as costly.
A good dentist will accept most major credit cards and dental insurance programs used by major employers in your area and take the headache out of the paperwork by submitting claims on your behalf.
If you have a CareCredit card or are thinking about getting one, make sure your dental office accepts this type of payment, which lets you spread dental costs over a maximum of two years, without having to pay interest charges, as long as the full bill is settled within the agreed time. CareCredit is one of the most popular health credit cards in the U.S., and it includes gum disease treatment and prevention, implants, braces, and retainers.
The cost of your treatment will depend on your individual treatment plan. A trustworthy dentist will explain your treatment fees and your payment options.
A Good Dentist Near You is One You Can Trust
Above all, when looking for a good dentist, you need to find one you can trust. One concern many patients share is that their dentist might push unnecessary treatment. A good dentist will be happy to explain to you why your treatment is needed, how it will work, and whether there are any alternatives.
One of the best – and easiest – ways to begin your quest to find a good dentist near you is to take advantage of the Find-a-Dentist online facility offered by the American Dental Association. You simply enter your address, the distance you’re prepared to travel, and whether you’re looking for particular dental specialties – and Find-a-Dentist does the rest. The American Dental Association is the nation's foremost dental body, representing more than 161,000 dentists, and is the leading source of oral health information for dentists and their patients.
Once you have a short-list of dentists in your area, you need to find the one that’s the right fit for you. Make an appointment to see each dentist in person so you can get a better insight into how the two of you are likely to get along. A good dentist will put you at ease and show a desire to build a relationship with you while demonstrating a total commitment to patient care and the highest levels of professionalism.