I don’t know about you, but the prospect of visiting a dentist makes me cringe like nothing else. The thought of someone jostling about in my mouth with cold tools to drill a cavity just doesn’t appeal to me. And quite frankly, it’s weird. But maintaining good oral hygiene is a must when it comes to leading a happy, healthy lifestyle; and the good folks down at the dental office will attest to that. Overcoming your odontophobia can be done, however, by following these five tips for choosing a dentist.
Referrals & Recommendations
Co-workers, family members and friends can often recommend doctors who have given them excellent care, and the same goes for dental referrals. If you don’t know anyone in the area, consult with local healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses and pharmacists for advice. Local dental societies can also be helpful. In fact, referrals and recommendations are the top two reasons why people choose their doctor. So listen carefully when someone you trust proffers details.
Web Search & Online Reviews
We live in the Information Age, so take advantage of all the wonderful technology we have at our disposal. Search the Internet to find local dentists, their websites, and reviews their patients have posted about them. Online resources are seemingly endless and can provide an immense amount of details. But avoid the temptation of responding to online ads and reviews that boast about having “low prices.” Seriously, it’s not appealing to anyone for professionals to claim that they are “the cheapest oral surgeons in the galaxy!” Avoid, avoid, avoid, repeat…
Narrowing Your Choices
So you’ve avoided the cheap advertising and have narrowed your dentist choices to a select few. Bravo! Now it’s time to get busy and schedule face-to-face consultations with each one. Some even offer online appointment setting (remember the above tip?). During your visit, ask the dentist important questions, such as how they handle weekend emergencies, what kinds of insurance plans do they accept and payment options, and what type of advanced technology they use. The more you know, the better informed your decision will be.
Schedule An Appointment
Once you’ve settled on the dentist who seems to be the right fit, schedule an appointment. Pay close attention to how he/she behaves during the first visit, and take mental notes. Excellent doctors have no problem explaining your condition to you in the firmest detail and offer specific recommendations for treating current problems and preventing future ones. Also, inspect the equipment for cleanliness. A nasty looking office is no place to go for a mouth cleaning.
Evaluate: The Recommendee Becomes The Recommendor
Evaluate your experience once the required dental work is complete. Did you receive courteous, congenial treatment from the entire staff? Did the dentist narrate what he/she was doing during the entire procedure? If your comfort level is high, and if you answered yes to these questions, you’ve probably found the right dentist. Be sure to post a review and share your experience with friends, family and co-workers.