Choosing a dentist can be stressful and confusing. There are many factors that go into making a decision that affects your health and well-being.
Here are some helpful guidelines to follow when searching for a new dentist:
- Don’t wait till it’s an emergency. This may happen but if you can plan ahead, you can choose the dentist that best fits you and your family’s needs. Having said that, it’s wise to choose a dentist that handles emergency calls, it at all possible. Ask questions about how they handle emergencies.
- Interview the doctor and view the office. It’s wise to find a location close to home or office so it’s convenient and that offers office hours that meet your needs. Make an appointment to see the office, talk to the receptionist and meet the doctor briefly if at all possible. Just like hiring anyone, look at a couple of options. It’s your right to do so.
- Consider costs. If you have a dental plan, look at what dentists are in your plan and then compare pricing as well as many other factors. Cost is important but not as important as your health. Inquire about payment plans if that’s something you will need. What payment options do they accept? Get estimates on any work you may need. A doctor might offer an enticing promotional fee for a cleaning and first visit but that doesn’t mean that he is cost effective for every procedure you may need. Don’t be afraid to ask about pricing structures on common procedures to at least get a range of costs.
- Comfort is a factor. Dental work can be very stressful and environment can play a big factor in comfortability. Pick an office that suits your personality and makes you feel comfortable to be at even during a stressful event.
- State of the art equipment. Does the office offer new, state of the art, equipment? Are they up to date on new procedures and techniques? These are important questions to ask. Important breakthroughs in technolgoy and the science of dentistry are always happening. You may want to know that the dentist you choose keeps up with the times by having the best equipment possible and is always learning.
- Licensing and qualifications: It goes without saying that a Dentist must be licensed and his or her license should be prominently displayed at the office. The office staff should be able to tell you about the doctors in the office and the training they have received. Often you can find this information online as many doctors have websites or belong to organizations that list them and their education and qualifications. Most states have a dental board and more info can be found on their websites as well.
- Ask for referrals. If you’re moving to a new place, you may have to do some research to find the right dentist and doctors. If you’re just in the market for a change ask family, friends, and co-workers if they have had a good or a bad experience they can share. Social media sites, especially Facebook, often have local group forums where you can ask for referrals but ultimately the choice will be yours. Ask pertinent questions when seeking a referral. How long is the office wait usually and does it take long to get an appointment? Is the office staff courteous and friendly? Does the doctor explain things in a way that is understandable? Do you feel comfortable to ask questions? Do they handle emergencies quickly and efficiently?
If you’re seeking a new dentist in the Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs or North Pinellas County, Florida area, please consider Breezy Bay Dental. The staff is friendly and happy to answer your questions. Dr. Phil Sherman is highly educated and qualified and easy to work with and talk to.