local dentist finding resources
Resources For Locating A Local Dental Office
Do you need dental care but not sure where to find it in your area? It’s a good thing we have the internet, our handy dandy online resource for just about everything. It is also important to consider dental care that can be trusted and has a good reputation. Know how to find, select and ask possible dentists the right questions by following this guide.
When searching for a dentist, the American Dentist Association (ADA) suggests the following:
- First thing you should consider is asking your family. Family dentists are usually well trusted because they have mostly experienced taking care of your family’s dental health for generations.
- If you feel like your family dentist is a little bit expensive and you are looking for a less costly option, you may ask friends, neighbors and even your co-workers for recommendations.
- For those who are moving or have moved to a different state and don’t know anyone yet, you can ask your current dentist for recommendations. That way you know you can trust that the next dentist will take good care of you as you have been by your old dentist.
- If all else fails, you have the option to call your local or state dental society. You may visit the ADA website for a list of local and state dental societies at ada.org or you can check the phone directories under dentists or associations.
Look for more than one option. It is important for you to be comfortable with your dentist. Remember, your dentist will be your long-term partner for oral health. In order to find a suitable dental care practitioner that is perfect for you, try asking them these questions over the phone as a start:
- What are the office hours and will they be convenient for your schedule?
- Is there office location near or accessible to get to from work or home?
- Where did the dentist train and study?
- What is the dentist’s approach to preventive dentistry?
- Does the dentist attend conferences frequently and does he/she continue education workshops?
- What type of anesthesia is that dentist certified to administer during dental treatment?
- During emergencies, how does the dentist handle arrangements outside of office hours? Do they make arrangements with colleagues as an emergency referral service if ever they are unable to tend to your urgent need?
- Do they provide information of all fees and payment plans before treatment is scheduled? Just for comparison, ask them for estimates on common procedures like full mouth X-rays, oral exam and cleaning, and filling a cavity.
- If you have a dental health plan, does the dentist participate in them?
- Do they have a policy on missed appointments and what is it?
Once you have found a possible dental care practitioner you may proceed by visiting their dentist office or clinic. Make sure to check if the office is clean, neat and orderly. Check if the treatment room and the equipment appear clean.
Aside from the dentist you also have to consider if they have a helpful dental staff that would be willing to answer your questions. Always observe if the dentist and his/her staff are wearing gloves and protective gear during the treatment for hygienic purposes.
For those who are looking for low-cost dental care, it varies from state to state. Dental school clinics are known to be lower in cost compared to private clinics. ADA also provides a list of dental school clinics for you if you think you wouldn’t be able to afford private dentists. School clinics usually cover the cost of materials and equipment, making it more affordable.
If you need dental care for your child you may contact ADA’s Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) Foundation program by visiting http://www.adafoundation.org/en/give-kids-a-smile. GKAS also has a toll-free number that you can call at 1-844-490-GKAS. The program allows children who do not have access to dental care to get free dental treatment from dental volunteers and their team members. They also give free dental health education, preventive care and screenings.
With all these resources available online, always remember to do a thorough checking process to ensure that you are in good hands. Dental health shouldn’t be taken lightly. Find a dentist near you now.
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