Deciding on which dentist to use can be a very difficult decision. There are so many and it is hard to tell which ones are good. Below, please find some key steps and questions to ask when choosing a new dentist.
It makes sense to become acquainted with a family dentist before an emergency arises. A good first step is to schedule a "get acquainted" visit to see whether your personalities and philosophies of health care are a match.
Ask about fees and payment plans. Determine dental costs PRIOR to treatment, especially where large fees will be involved for major work. Most dentists prefer patients to initiate discussion of fees because patients know more about their own financial situation. It is best to have a written understanding of what fees will be charged and when payment will be due.
Dental cost totals should include procedure fees, anesthesia fees, and facility fees. If you have dental insurance, chances are good that there will be some benefit coverage applicable to procedures such as preventative dental care (professional cleanings and exams) and amalgam fillings (the traditional metal fillings). Less coverage may be available for composite fillings (which have an enamel-like finish) and restorative dental work such as bridges and crowns. Out-of-pocket costs are typically determined at the initial consultation.
You want to find a dentist with plenty of experience. Ask about the extent of the dentist's training and clinical experience in performing the specific procedure you may require. Ask about the types of professional dental societies the dentist participates in. Some societies require dentists to take continuing education classes to keep them up-to-date on the latest procedures and technological advances in the field.
If the dentist does not perform certain procedures, ask about his referral process.
Before committing yourself to a dentist, identify all the procedure options that would solve your cosmetic dental concern. Ask about the pros and cons of each option.
If your needs include cosmetic dentistry procedures, ask to see before-and-after photos of the dentist's previous patients.