When you have to choose a new dentist, you may not know where to start. You need to know more than just the name and address—you a dentist you can trust and who will meet your dental needs. To evaluate whether a dentist might be right for you, do some investigation before making an appointment.
Range of Services
While there may be times you need to see a specialist, such as an endodontist or periodontist, your general dentist should be able to provide regular care, such as cleanings and maintenance. Some dentists will also offer cosmetic dentistry, implant services, dentures, and alignment treatments.
Consider the dental services that you and your family might need immediately and in the future. If you have children, you may also want to find a dental practice that offers pediatric dentistry, though most general dentists have experience with children. Evening or Saturday hours may also be important to you if you work during the day and can’t get away.
Dental insurance may also be a factor in your decision. You might also need to select a dentist within your network or that accepts your insurance. For patients without insurance, some dentists will also offer alternate payment plans or discounts.
Experience of Dentists
An experienced dentist will have acquired both knowledge and skills. Research the dentist’s educational experience as well as any additional training they may have completed. Dentists must pass written and clinical exams and are required to be licensed in the state where they practice. Many are also members of professional associations that provide continuing education opportunities.
Also consider the qualifications of the dental staff, such as hygienists and assistants. Often, they will spend as much time providing care and interacting with you as the dentist does. Ask about their licenses, qualifications, and experience.
Good dentists and dental care providers will also have well-developed “”soft skills.”” They should communicate clearly and be willing to answer any questions you have. They should keep you informed about procedures and their purposes. They should also show empathy and kindness if you have pain or discomfort.
To evaluate the personality of a dentist, you can ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, but if you’re new in town, that may be difficult. In that case, you may be able to find reviews by patients on the dentist’s website or other online spaces. These may give you an idea of the dentist’s experience as well as “”soft skills.””
Dental health contributes to your overall health profile, so finding the right dentist for you is important. The process of selecting your dentist should involve more than a random selection or trial and error. Do your research first, and don’t be shy about asking questions.
If you’re looking for a dentist in the Sandy or Salt Lake City area, learn more about Dr. Nate Lewis and the services he offers.