Dental Care

Tips for Choosing Your New Dentist

You need a new dentist. You want one dentist’s office you can visit for all your needs. You also need them to accept your dental insurance or health benefits.

You may think of visiting Bing or Google, but the smarter choice begins with your insurance plan. Your insurance plan lists all the dentists that accept your insurance plan. Its website or your welcome packet will also list any exceptions to the insurance that the dentist makes.

If you have a dental HMO, your selected dentist must belong to the HMO network. With a PPO plan, you can visit any dentist that accepts the insurance, but you save money by using an in-network dentist. The latter reduces your copayment.

Once you know who accepts your insurance, ask friends, family, and coworkers who on your shortlist of candidates they use. Your physician can also review the list for and provide a referral. Before making an appointment, double-check to ensure the dentist maintains a membership in the various professional associations:

  • American Dental Association (ADA),
  • Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and/or
  • The state or local professional society, for example, the California Dental Association

Phone the dentists who made the cut. Who currently accepts new patients. This can prove a major hurdle since not every dentist will. Many practices already have all the patients they can handle. They simply do not accept any new patients.

Of those who do, who provides the easiest access from your office or home? Think about which location you would typically travel from to reach your appointments. Their scheduling flexibility also matters. Saturday hours can help you when you cannot take time off from work for an appointment.

Meet each dentist on your by now very short list for a consultation. This may include taking X-rays or simply a review of your existing medical records. Ask how early you need to schedule annual cleanings or checkups.
Consider the dentist’s office while you visit. You should find it spotless and organized with a polite, courteous staff.

Consider all of the above in your decision of your next dentist. Choose a dentist like that provides cosmetic dentistry, family dentistry, orthodontics, implants, sedation, and sleep dentistry. These full-service dentists provide a wide range of services that enable you to have a one-stop shopping trip for dental work. You can take the children to the same dentist you go to because that person will provide every service from braces to crowns.