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What Should You Look for When Selecting a Dentist?

Getting your teeth examined and cleaned at least once a year is critical to maintaining a healthy set of pearly whites. Should a cavity or other serious dental condition develop, catching it early allows your dentist to treat the condition with minimal invasion and an extremely high success rate. There are most likely dozens of dental offices within your area, and choosing the right one out of the pack can be intimidating without information on your side. Below are some tips for what to consider when choosing a dentist for yourself or your family.

1. Your Doctor’s Mannerisms & Treatment Style Many individuals fear dental treatment and have severe anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist. If you aren’t fully comfortable with receiving dental care, consider this ahead of time when picking a dentist. Scope out your options and see what solutions they offer for managing pain and calming nerves. For more extensive dental procedures like cavities or root canals, a local anesthetic is a common option that’s available to you as a patient. Others offer gas, and some dentists offer full sedation for the duration of your work. Dentists who frequently work with children could have other options that are geared towards their relaxation. Don’t be afraid to call a prospective dentist and speak to them or their office manager about your fears. They’ll give you an idea of what they can do to make your treatment as pleasant as possible.

2. Insurance and Appointments Since most dental work isn’t urgent, getting an appointment can sometimes mean being booked out a few weeks in advance. For patients who are just in need of a routine cleaning, this isn’t usually a problem. Considering their schedule and the ease of getting an appointment is something worth noting for if ongoing work is needed. Choosing a dentist that has extended hours means you’re less likely to be at the mercy of a tight schedule that doesn’t work for you. In addition to appointments, always check with the office ahead of time to ensure that you are all set on the paperwork side with insurance and health history. This will eliminate the possibility of care being delayed while your dentist obtains the needed medical history documents. Depending on your level of insurance coverage, you may be required to pay out of pocket for some dental expenses. Ask your dental office to provide you with a list of available services along with a rate sheet that outlines cost if available. Most offices are willing to work with you financially and put a payment plan in place if needed.

3. Ongoing Treatment and Expectations Similar to a doctor’s bedside manner and treatment styles, different doctors have different stances on how to handle conditions or even on how often one should receive a checkup and cleaning. Taking the time to talk with your doctor will clear up any questions you have. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to! They are accustomed to explaining the basics to patients. No one likes to learn that they’ll need work done on a cavity, a tooth pulled or root canal work; but, unfortunately, that can come with the territory. Have a special talk with your doctor at this time and decide on a course of action for getting your teeth back in tip-top shape. You should feel good about your dental plan, and this is an excellent time to seek a second opinion if you have questions that were left unanswered.

Healthy teeth can mean a lifetime of enjoying sweet treats, sampling the full dinner menu without worry and flashing big smiles to everyone you meet. Take the above tips into account when choosing a dentist and you’ll be set to smile for many happy years to come.

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