Choosing a dentist can be a daunting task—especially if you have recently relocated, your current dentist is retiring, or if your dental insurance has changed. Our Lafayette, LA dentist understands that finding the right dental provider can be cumbersome. Following are some tips to make choosing a great dentist that meets your needs, easier.
Search Dental Practices in Your Area
The Internet can be a useful tool in the search for an oral healthcare provider. Today, many dentists have websites with helpful information about their services. Insurance networks list general information about a dental practice to help their clients, too.
Many dental practices maintain websites that contain a wealth of information about their dentists, staff, and services. Some websites might discuss the technological and diagnostic capabilities of a practice along with their mission statements, which detail a dentist’s practice philosophy and approach to oral healthcare treatment.
Dental practice websites as well as information aggregated by local listings, insurance websites, and review sites for patients can help narrow down the search for a dentist in your area. In addition to these resources, you can use the American Dental Association’s “Find a Dentist” search engine. This search engine allows users to find a dentist by location and specialty, if applicable.
Next, make a list of prospective dentists from your initial search. Once you have a working list, you can start looking into specific information that addresses your unique needs.
Inquire about Types of Dental Services and Treatments
The type of dentist you need largely depends on your health history and the current state of your oral health. Moreover, if you are looking for a dentist to treat yourself, a romantic partner, and/or children in your household, you want to make sure that the dentists you search for treat patients of all ages, including children.
A general dentist can offer an array of services including restorative care and some cosmetic treatments. For instance, if you have a loose crown, most dental practitioners can help you. On the other hand, if it’s been a while since you’ve visited a dentist or if you know you need a series of restorative treatments to repair multiple damaged teeth, it is wise to look for a dentist that has extensive continuing education and experience with placing restorations like dental crowns, inlays, onlays, and bridges.
Beyond looking at the services offered on websites, it is a good idea to call practices and ask a practice’s staff for specific information on your needs—especially if you have chronic oral health conditions like periodontal (gum) disease or have old restorations that need to be replaced. Make a list of questions you would like answered ahead of time and look at your notes throughout your phone conversation to ensure that you don’t forget to make important queries. Take note of staff members’ answers to help you narrow your list of prospective dentists.
Ask Which Insurers the Practice Accepts
If a practice meets your specific treatment and lifestyle needs and your subsequent care is contingent on dental insurance coverage, you will want to look into the forms of insurance that practice accepts. You can learn more about dental insurance coverage and whether a practice accepts the policy you have by calling your insurer, visiting dental practice websites, and calling dental practices.
The information you receive will help you narrow down your list of local dentists.
Narrowing Your List
Once you’ve narrowed your list based on your treatment needs, insurance concerns, and whether or not you need a family dentist, then you can rule out potential dentists based on your interactions with their staff. If a practice’s staff is friendly and helpful, be sure to make note of it—especially if this dental practice meets your other needs. Feeling comfortable with a dentist and his/her team is an essential component of establishing a long-term relationship with your oral healthcare provider. It is important that patients feel respected and valued by their oral health team.
Schedule Your First Appointment
Based on the information gathered from your research and from your conversations with local dental offices, rank your narrowed list of dentists. Call the top dentist on your ranked list and request an appointment. Keep your ranked list of dentists in the event that you are unhappy with your experience and want to switch providers.
Our gentle and friendly dentist is accepting new patients. We serve patients in and around Lafayette, Louisiana. Call us today to reserve a checkup and cleaning.