Choosing a new dentist is no small task. Whether you’re new in town or you’re just looking for a better fit, wading through a list of potential candidates can be daunting. With so many dentists to choose from, it’s important to have a baseline of the criteria you’ll use in making a decision.
If you have dental insurance, this is obviously an important place to start your search (If you don’t, just keep scrolling to the next point!). Contact your dental insurance provider and request a list of dentists in your area that accept your insurance, keeping in mind the cost of routine checkups, cosmetic dentistry, and emergency dental care. This will reduce the number of potential candidates and ensure you pick a dentist that will work for you from a financial standpoint.
There are different ways to consider experience when it comes to making it a criterion for choosing your dentist. A dentist who is established and has been in practice for many years has the benefit of consistent on-the-job treatment of patients experiencing dental problems. A dentist who has recently graduated has likely been trained in the latest technologies and treatments available in the field of dentistry. Both are valuable ways to evaluate experience – if you lean towards a more established dentist, ask what methods and training they and their staff use to stay abreast of changes in the industry. If you are interested in a dentist who is just starting out, inquire as to their internships and experience gained throughout their time in school.
Presence and Professionalism
Bedside manner is important, especially if you struggle with anxiety when it comes to dental care. A dentist with a comforting, calm presence will go a long way in alleviating the stress that can sometimes accompany routine as well as major dental treatments. It’s not just important for the dentist to demonstrate good bedside manner and a professional attitude – their staff should do the same. From check-in to check-out, those working in the practice should all have the goal of promoting a welcoming, stress-free environment in any way they possibly can.
A dentist should have good communication skills. When it comes to reading x-rays and performing an exam, it is important that they are able to convey the findings to you in a clear, concise way. If further treatment is needed or if outside medical attention is required, a good dentist will know how to offer guidance and fully explain not only what needs to be done, but why. Communication should also be fluid between the patient and staff in areas such as billing and appointment-setting, streamlining the many different aspects of dental care.
If you feel overwhelmed in your search for a new dentist, take it step by step. Ask yourself basic questions to see how a dentist measures up…do they take my insurance? Are they experienced? Is there a professional atmosphere in the practice with a focus on good communication and patient care? Finding the right dentist may be a challenge in the beginning but will be well worth the effort in the end. If you’re searching for a dentist in the Coralville, IA area, contact Coral West Dental today for a high-quality, patient-focused dental experience.