Around 34 million school hours get lost each year because of unplanned dental care. Over $45 billion in productivity is also lost because of untreated dental problems. Staying on top of your and your family’s dental care will ensure that you don’t become part of that statistic.
It can be challenging to select a family dentist that works for you, your partner, and your children. You want to find a family dentist that everyone feels comfortable with. It’s also important to work with a dental office that offers the services that you’re looking for.
This guide will discuss everything you need to know about finding a new family dentist. Improve your family dentistry experience by working with an office that you love.
Start With Basic Details
Regular visits to the dentist are key to ensuring you have a healthy smile. Look at the details that work best with your dental care and lifestyle needs. Some of the things you should think about include:
- Are their office hours convenient?
- Is the office close to your job or home?
- Is the dentist part of the ADA?
- Are they in your dental insurance network?
If you don’t have dental insurance, check into their payment plan options. You’ll want to know if they have financing or other things available if you’re expecting some hefty dental treatment costs.
You might receive advertisements in your mailbox or online for local dentists. Those are good jumping-off points when creating your list of potential dentists. Some other places you can find dentists include:
- Local dentist society
- On American Dental Association’s website
- Relative, friend, or neighbor recommendations
Once you’ve compiled a list of three to five dentists, check out their websites.
Evaluate Experience and Qualifications
Your potential dentist should display their qualifications in their office. They should also include that information on their website. Their area of expertise is critical, especially when performing certain dental procedures.
The dentist should also have experience with pediatric dentistry. Dentists that work with children need to have additional experience. They can get this experience through:
- Research with child-related illnesses
- Working with children
They might also need additional training and certifications to be a pediatric dentist. Many children are anxious about going to the dentist. The dentist should know different tactics to help them relax.
You’ll want to check to see if the dentist has a history of disciplinary actions or malpractice claims. You can find out a lot of information on state websites and Healthgrades.com. The information you can review includes:
- Training hospital
- Medical school
- Patient history
Quality of Dental Services
Learning what other patients have to say about the dentist will help you understand how they treat their patients. Most dentists will post reviews and testimonials on their websites. Keep in mind that these reviews might be a bit biased.
Reading online reviews on third-party websites is the best way to get a clear picture of a dentist’s practice. Think about the things that are important to you, like clear communication and flexible office hours. Make a note if the reviews mention any of those things.
Schedule Meet and Greets
Don’t be shy about scheduling appointments with potential dentists. You should check out their office before committing to dental treatment. The first impression as you walk into the office will tell you a lot about what your experience will be like.
Come prepared with a list of questions when you head in for your consultation. You’ll also want to bring your dental records with you. That way the dentist can review your dental history if you have specific questions.
Some questions you can ask the dentist include:
- Do they offer emergency dental services after hours?
- Will they provide you with tips on how to improve your at-home dental care?
- Who will be performing your dental services?
You’ll also want to talk to them about dental anxiety if that’s something that you deal with. Your dentist should have the skills and expertise necessary to help someone through their dental visits. If they brush off your concerns or don’t have a solution, you might want to find someone else.
Check Out Their Culture and Atmosphere
Another thing to look out for when options for dentists is the atmosphere of their office. A good family dentist should make a comfortable environment for the whole family.
For example, they should have child-friendly amenities that make your kids feel at ease. This can include playrooms and balloons.
Their office should also be clean and sanitary, including the waiting room. Pay attention to how the staff treats and welcomes the patients as they walk in. A family dentist should provide a positive experience and environment for every family member.
Explore Their Technology
There have been countless changes in dental health care over the years. New dental technology makes it easier for dentists to offer preventative solutions and detect problems. You’ll want to check and see what technology and equipment your dentist offers.
Examples of dental technology include:
- Digital x-rays
- Intra-oral camera
- 3D x-ray
- Soft tissue laser
- Hard tissue laser
Some dentists will list what types of equipment they use on their websites. You can also ask them about it during your initial consultation. If they’re using outdated equipment, you might want to explore another option.
Follow Our Tips to Select a Family Dentist
Improving the dental health of you and your family is key to lifelong healthy teeth and gums. Take the time to select a family dentist that you like. Picking a dentist isn’t something that you should rush into.
Are you looking for an experienced family dentist in Richmond, TX? Sweet Tooth Smiles is here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation at our dental office.