Whether you are moving to a new neighborhood or your old dentist is closing his or her practice, there may be a time when you need to find a new dentist. Knowing what to ask before you schedule an appointment can help to make you feel more comfortable. Look at choosing a new care provider as an interview process for finding the best dentist, and consider asking these questions to help you make your decision.
What Is Your Approach to Pain Management?
You may have some anxiety about having dental work performed. Knowing your dentist's approach to pain management during procedures can help you to make an informed decision. Does he or she offer sedation dentistry? How does the dentist use local anesthetic during procedures? This will better prepare you for any visits that require significant dental work.
Do You Offer Emergency Appointments?
While emergency appointments to the dentist's office might be rare, it's helpful to know if your dentist offers them. If you chip or lose a tooth, you want to know that you can see your dentist right away for emergency repairs.
Do You Offer Payment Plans?
Some types of dental work can be costly, even if you have dental insurance. Choosing a dentist who offers payment plans or alternative payment options can help you to decide if dental work is in your budget.
What New Treatments Do You Offer?
Dentists, just like any other type of doctor, need to be on top of new procedures and treatment options. If he or she can't list any new procedures performed in the office, you may want to consider another practice. You may even want to prepare by asking about specific procedures, like advances in dental-implant surgery, to gauge the dentist's response.
Do You Offer Free Consultations?
A free consultation, or a low-cost new patient exam, is a great way to get to know your dentist before making the switch. You'll get a feel for his or her "bedside manner," and you'll learn about the dentist's approach to routine exams. If you can get a free or low-cost first visit and are satisfied with the experience, you may be ready to hire your new dentist.
You need to feel like you can trust, talk to, and be comfortable with your dentist. Asking these questions can help you to find a dentist who is a good fit for your needs, budget, and comfort level.