Whether you’ve moved, your previous dentist has retired, or you haven’t had a dentist in a while and need a new one, searching for a new dentist can be a bit stressful. Starting with a list of what you are looking for in a new dentist can help. Here are some considerations to keep in mind as you begin your search.
Depending on your insurance plan, you might or might not have to see a dentist who is in the network in order to have your treatment covered. While it’s best not to choose a dentist based only on whether they are participating with your insurance company, the truth is that finances are a consideration for most patients. Take a look at who is in your plan. If you have a dental HMO (or a DMO), you won’t be able to out out-of-network and have the treatment covered at all. If you belong to a PPO or a POS plan, you will be able to see who you want, but you’ll pay more to see someone who is not in-network. Start with the list of dentists participating in whatever plan you have and go from there; if you cannot find a suitable dentist in that list, then you can decide at that point whether to go outside the network.
Location, Location, Location
Let’s be honest: Most people are not going to drive far out of their way to go to the dentist. Choosing a provider who is not near your home or your work might tempt you to skip checkups and cleanings. Convenience is often key when it comes to preventative care. Also, when you do have a toothache or need treatment, you won’t relish a long drive to or from the office. Look within several miles of both your home and your workplace to keep things simple.
Hours and Availability
If you work a traditional 9 to 5 job, you will probably want to find an office that offers some evening or weekend hours. Similarly, if you are off on Fridays, you’ll want to find an office that is open that day to make appointments easier. When you call offices that you are considering, find out how far they book out for both routine appointments and emergencies; while it’s normal for offices to book out weeks or even months in advance when it comes to cleanings, your chosen dentist should be able to see you promptly if you have a broken tooth or a toothache.
Your Gut Feeling
Finally, make an appointment with the top dentist on your list and make sure you feel good about the office. Is it clean? Is the staff friendly? Does the dentist have a good bedside manner? As long as you feel welcome and the dentist answers your questions, it might be the perfect office for you!
If you are looking for a new dentist, please give our office a call!