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Changing Dentists? What to Look for in a New Dentist

Creative commons image by Harry Lawford.
Creative commons image by Harry Lawford.

Over the course of a lifetime, you’ll probably change dentists for various reasons. You might move out of town, for example, or you may get a new dental insurance company that your current dentist does not participate with. If you are changing dentists, you might feel some stress when it comes to knowing what to look for. Should you go with the one a friend has recommended? Maybe the dentist with an office next door to your workplace would be the most convenient option. Here are some factors to keep in mind as you weigh your options and make your decision.

Financial Considerations

Although in an ideal world finances would not be a primary concern when choosing healthcare practitioners, it is a major consideration for most people. If you have dental insurance, you may need to see someone who participates in the plan in order for you to have your treatment paid for. On the other hand, some insurance companies allow you to see anyone. It’s important to talk to the administrator of your dental insurance benefits to find out which type of insurance you have so you can plan accordingly.

Whether or not you have dental benefits, you will have some out-of-pocket costs. Find out whether the dentists you’re considering allow payments by credit card or offer a payment plan, if that is something that you would need to do to stay within your budget. There are also dental credit options available; one popular one is CareCredit. If this is an option that you would use, see if the new dentist participates or accepts it (or another dental credit company).

Location

You won’t want to drive an hour to see a dentist when you have a toothache, so definitely keep location in mind when changing dentists. One question you’ll need to consider is whether you’d rather see a dentist closer to your home or closer to your workplace, if the two are not near each other. Having a dentist close to where you work can be an advantage if you make a mid-day appointment and want to go on your lunch break. Seeing a dentist who practices close to your home makes it convenient to get there for early morning, evening or weekend appointments.

Hours

If you work full-time, you may need to find a dentist who sees patients during the evening, very early in the morning, or on Saturdays. This is something to ask about when you call the office to schedule your first appointment. While missing an hour or two of work twice per year for cleanings might not be a problem, you will want to know if you will likely have to take off time from work to have restorative or major work done, like fillings, crowns or root canals.

Your Comfort Level

Perhaps the most important consideration to keep in mind is whether you are comfortable with the dentist and staff. Even if a dentist participates with your insurance company, practices close to you and has convenient hours, if you are uncomfortable or you don’t feel that the staff is caring and accommodating, you will dread going into the office. Make it easier on yourself by choosing a dentist whoB you like and trust.

If you are changing dentists and would like to schedule an appointment to meet our staff, please give us a call! We look forward to meeting you.

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