You’ve just come out of school, you’ve landed the job of your dreams, and you are ready to make some important decisions that previously may have been taken care of for you. One of those things does not often come at the top of the list for many, but remains important, nonetheless.
Choosing a dentist can seem like a waste of time, but is essential to maintaining healthy teeth, and plays an extremely important role in those times when you need emergency care.
Unless you have friends who know of a great dentist, we can help with a few suggestions to help guide your search and provide some helpful tips to consider, depending on your situation.
First, consider the type of insurance you have. If you have insurance, chances are the insurance provider will have an in-network list of dentists from which to choose. By choosing an in-network provider, you reap maximum benefits from your insurance plan. Go out of network, and benefits tend to decrease, or may not exist at all. Check with your specific plan to understand the differences between the two levels, then proceed to check for dentists near you.
If you don’t have insurance, then consider choosing a dentist who offers flexible payment options. Many dentists often send flyers in the mail offering discounted cleanings. When I lived in Maryland is had a Salisbury dentist I sued to go to which I visited every six months. If you see a special that fits your budget, then call the office to learn more about their payment options, should the dentist find more work that needs to be done on your teeth.
Dental schools offer dental services at extremely reduced rates, performed by students who are in their last year of school. This can be a very economical alternative, and is completely monitored by professional dentists at the school.
Outside of the insurance and payment considerations, there are more logistical types of questions to ask when selecting a dentist:
- What are the office hours? Can I get appointments that fit my work schedule?
- Is it easy to get to the office to or from work?
- Does the dentist believe in preventative care and does it match your expectations?
- What type of anesthesia does the office offer?
- How does the dentist handle emergencies?
- Does the office practice standards that support a hygienic environment?
- What is the policy for missed appointments?
- Does the dentist keep up to date on the latest in dentistry by attending conferences and continuing education workshops?
So, as a new member of the workforce who may have had all things dental covered while in school, know that you can easily find the dental services you need by asking and answering a few simple questions. Also keep in mind how important dental care is to you and how each of the questions listed above stack up amongst themselves.
Some prefer convenience over cost, while others are looking to spend less. Know what is right for you before you make a choice.