How to Find a Dentist Near Me

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Smiling mother and her little son visiting dentist

If you thought you’d simply be able to find a great dentist by running a local search, you might be slightly overwhelmed by the options. At the surface, dental clinics can look very similar. Maybe you’re trying to find someone who’ll be able to work around your limited budget. Or you may want to have a very special procedure performed. In this case, you will need to interview many dentist offices and have a list of important questions on hand when doing so. Here are some of the questions you should be asking before picking any dentist near you.

How Long Have You Been at this Location?

One of the best ways to know if a dentist can be trusted is to know how long they’ve stayed at the same place and operated under the same banner. This will also give you a sense of their commitment to the community. A clinic that has been there for a while is more likely to have formed a bond with the people there and will be truly dedicated to helping them.

How Long Have You Been Practicing?

This is another very important question to ask. Usually, you want to go with a dentist that has a lot of experience, but there might be some benefits to helping a newer dentist as well. If you’re strapped for cash, then a new dentist might be cheaper. This also means, however, that you may serve as practice if it’s a procedure they’ve never performed before. This is why you should ask any dentist you intend to work with what their experience is, not only in dentistry, but with the exact procedure you need to have done. 

Do You Treat People with Unique Conditions?

Some people may have conditions that require special attention, such as patients suffering from diabetes or blood clotting issues. This is one of the first things that you should ask any dental professional before you work with them.  Some will have special experience dealing with people with HIV/AIDS or people with disabilities, for instance. You will have to verify if the dentist can handle those cases to avoid complications and make sure you get the best service possible.

How Do You Deal with Dental Phobia?

Many people will not think of this and will assume that dental phobia is something all dentists handle the same way. But, if you have children who have an extreme fear of dentists, working with one who knows how to make them feel at ease will be important.

So, ask if they’re using any special techniques to alleviate patients’ fears, whether it’s for a child or an adult. Some will use special sedation and relaxation techniques. Some will use alternative techniques such as hypnosis. Make sure that you talk this over with them, and also look at if they will allow you to choose which techniques you want.

How Long Will It Take for me to Get an Appointment?

You should also ask the dentist what the procedure for appointments is and how long you can expect to wait until you can get your treatment. Ask for their cancellation policy as well. Some will require you to cancel within a certain period if you want to avoid fees, so make sure that you know exactly what this period is and the penalties in case you cancel late.

What About Payment and Insurance?

If you want to get the most benefits from your insurance plan and limit the amount of money you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket, then you will have to go with a dentist that participates in your plan. Other factors such as experience and credentials should still be accounted for, however.

If money is a concern for you, you should also look at what type of payment plans they offer. Note that not all dentists will accept copays and will require that you pay everything up front. So, make sure that you clarify all payment details and know exactly how much you can expect to pay per installment and in total.

These are all crucial questions that will allow you to find out if a dentist would be the right choice for you. Make sure that you check their credentials first, then ask them as many pertinent questions as you can.

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