Investing in your smile and overall dental health is essential today, and it all begins with selecting the right dentist for both you and your family. Whether you are new to a neighborhood, need specialty treatment, or decide it’s time to switch to an office that offers children’s services in addition to adults, here are the six things you need to know before choosing your next dentist.
1. General vs. Specialty Care
Not all dental offices offer the same type of care. Begin your search by asking yourself what is most important. Do you need a general dentist to keep your dental health in top shape, or do you need a specialist that can address a specific problem?
Selecting a general dentist that offers a variety of care gives you one office to build a relationship with and depend on for most of your family’s dental needs. Here you will receive ongoing preventive care, such as cleanings and checkups, and also maintenance or restorative treatments.
If you are looking for specialty care, such as a root canal, orthodontia, or a cosmetic procedure, you may want to look for a specialist. However, many dentists today offer a wider variety of services and treatments, so you may be able to find one that can offer everything you need in one office.
Whichever you choose, be sure to also check on the credentials and training of the dentist to ensure you work with the best available.
2. Available Services and Treatments
When researching your choices, understand what it is each dentist offers in terms of services and treatments. Not all dental offices are the same or even similar when it comes to this, so you’ll need to find out specific offerings to ensure you choose the best one for your family’s needs.
For example, if you already know you would like to try Invisalign® to straighten your teeth, then check to see if this is covered or offered by each dentist on your list. Do the same for needs such as periodontal treatments or a solution for sleep apnea.
Keep in mind, however, that if the dentist doesn’t offer certain treatments, they will be able to refer you to a specialist. You can ask about this when determining whether the dentist is a good fit or not.
Dental emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime, and to anyone in your family. Knowing that your dental office is available for emergency care can bring peace of mind and also ready access to your dental records should an emergency occur.
Since not all dental offices provide for emergency care, be sure to confirm this when researching your options. Many dentists today offer flexible hours, weekend appointments, or provide a phone number in cases of dental emergencies.
4. Latest Dental Technologies and Sterilization Practices
As medical technology continues to evolve, so too does dental technology. Dental offices staying up-to-date on these technological advancements show that they are prioritizing the overall patient experience as well as streamlining treatment processes.
Technologies such as dental lasers, digital x-rays, and intraoral cameras can lessen the time required to complete a treatment, meaning patients spend less time in the chair. These technologies can also lower the number of required dental visits for a given procedure.
Just as important as dental technology is the sterilization practices of a dental office. These sterilization practices are meant to protect patients and staff alike and are essential to everyone’s health.
For example, here at Lifetime Dental Health, we prioritize sterilization of all our equipment, tools, and surfaces and follow the strict guidelines of the American Dental Association (ADA) as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
5. Patient Care Approach
If you are hesitant or experience anxiety when considering a trip to the dentist, it may help to know that many dentists today offer solutions to help alleviate such discomfort.
These solutions range from providing more comfortable chairs to playing soothing music to offering sedation dentistry.
If this describes you or anyone in your family, find out if the dentist you are considering offers such patient care approaches, showing they understand your anxieties and value your time in their office.
The team at Lifetime Dental Health believes patient comfort is a priority. In addition to offering sedation therapy, we also provide items like headphones, soft blankets, neck pillows, and warm towels to enhance the experience.
6. Insurance and Payment Information
Dental care costs can fluctuate depending on various factors, and are not always easy to plan for in many instances.
If you have dental insurance, determine which dentists fall under in-network coverage. While this can influence your decision, be sure you are comfortable with the dentists under your plan, and if not, don’t hesitate to look outside that covered network.
Also, many dental offices today offer flexible financing options and payment plans for those without dental insurance or whose insurance only covers so much. Find out about these options before choosing your dentist so you won’t have to worry about the financial aspects as much.
Schedule a Consultation with Lifetime Dental Health in Columbus Today
Dr. Richard Barry and his team at Lifetime Dental Health in Columbus offer patients highly personalized care and treatment plans. We also utilize the latest technology along with comforting amenities to make the experience as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and get to know us and how we can help.