New Year, New Dentist?

January 21, 2014

If you’ve moved to a new town, changed your dental plan or even relocated to a different area of your current town, one of the first things on your “to do” list will be finding a new dentist for yourself and your family. This is especially true if you have children in school or wearing braces.

While most people think that finding a new dentist can be a big ordeal, it doesn’t have to be—you just need to know where to look.

First, make sure to reference your benefit provider’s list of in-network dentists. Then, ask friends or neighbors or do a Google search to look for prospects. You can even ask your former dentist to suggest a dental practitioner in the new area.

Pick a couple and then set aside a few dates to meet with them and make sure they are a good fit.

Here are a few questions that you should consider when choosing a new dentist:

  • Are they in-network with your benefits carrier?
  • Are they taking new patients?
  • How long will it take to get an appointment?
  • How long has he or she been in practice?
  • How long has he or she had the current office?
  • What is his or her area of specialization (i.e., general dentistry, endodontics, orthodontics, etc.)?
  • Does he or she treat people with diabetes or other special physical conditions?
  • How many other dentists are in the office?
  • If your dentist is not available, who else can see you?
  • Do they treat children?
  • Is he or she aware of the latest trends/development in dental technology?
  • Are the office hours compatible with your work schedule?
  • Do they provide emergency care? If yes, what kind?
  • Will they file claims for you?
  • Do they make accommodations for people with dental anxiety?

Remember, your oral health depends largely on your dental practitioner. So, do not hesitate to walk the extra mile to get to know your new dentist! Set up an appointment and see if you are comfortable with the new dentist. If you are not, find another one. No matter how you come across a new dentist, it is important that he or she makes you feel right at home.

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