Are you doing your best to find a family dentist but aren’t sure what to do? Read this article to learn how to choose a dentist for your family.
A dentist does more than clean your kids’ teeth. They watch over their dental growth and help you understand what’s happening. They help your children be comfortable at the dentist to prepare them for lifelong oral health. They also teach them how to care for their teeth, so they grow up and become adults with good habits.
If all that sounds like a lot, it is. That’s why knowing how to choose a dentist is essential, so you end up with one of the best.
Someone who has your family’s interests at heart is hard to find. Luckily, these tips will guide you to the right one.
How to Choose a Dentist: One for the Whole Family
Choosing a dentist for yourself is one thing. You can evaluate how you feel after an appointment and how you were treated. Yet choosing for everyone else in the family makes it a tougher task.
You need to pick a dentist who cares about your kids. A family dentist will have an excellent bedside manner with your children, as well as giving you resources to find out more about kids’ nutrition and other external factors that affect their teeth.
When you choose a family practitioner, ask about how long they’ve been treating children, so you get an idea of their experience.
Get Personal Recommendations
If you’re wondering how to pick a dentist, one of the best ways is to ask for recommendations. Your friends and family will be happy to recommend their dentist if they’ve had a good experience. Make sure you ask people with children so that you can gauge whether it would work for your own family.
Ask specific questions about their experience to help you understand more about their experience. For example, here are some excellent detailed questions you might ask:
- Did your child have a room for themselves, or were they in a large room with multiple exam chairs?
- Were you with your child the whole time?
- How much time did the dentist spend with you to discuss your child’s oral health?
- Did the dentist interrupt you when you voiced your concerns?
- Did the dentist introduce themselves?
- How did your child react to the dentist?
These and many other questions will give you a good idea of what your visitors would be like. If you have particular concerns because of experience, write your own list of questions to add to those above.
Another way to look for recommendations is to read reviews online from people who have seen the dentist. Look for more detailed reviews, rather than just “Great experience!” Specifics about their visit are helpful, whether you’re reading a positive or negative review.
Work Through the Logistics
When you’re picking a dentist, find out how helpful their staff is by asking a lot of logistical questions. Ideally, they will help you navigate the process, from questions about insurance coverage to help you find their building.
Ask about their office hours and make sure they fit your schedule. Check to see if they handle dental emergencies, and what the procedure is in case one occurs. From scheduling to the end of the actual appointment, the dental team should help make your experience smooth and painless.
Collaboration for Total Care
The best way to choose a dentist is to check and see if they’re open to talking with other members of your family’s healthcare team. Sometimes mouth issues and other health issues overlap. For example, dental problems can be an indicator of celiac disease.
Make sure that if a situation came up that affected both your oral health and your overall health, your dentist is willing to work with your doctor. If your children see a separate orthodontist, what does your orthodontist have to say about their experience with this dentist?
Your family’s entire healthcare team includes your dentist, so they need to be on board for anything that comes up.
Observe the Office
With these tips for how to choose the right dentist, you’re ready to schedule an appointment. The last step is evaluating your decision.
When you go for your appointment, observe the office and their interactions with other patients (make sure to respect others’ privacy). Is everything clean? Are they friendly?
Did everyone use the right PPE to keep you and your children safe? All these environmental details are essential, and they’re ones you can’t judge very well until you meet the staff and the dentist.
Don’t be afraid to fire your dentist if they didn’t work out the way you hoped. Choose another place to try so that you and your children can all feel comfortable when you visit the next time. While switching dentists is a long process to go through, it’s worth it in the end when you find the right fit.
The Brightest Smile
With these helpful tips on how to choose a dentist, you’re sure to find the right one for your family. Start with personal recommendations and reviews, and then find out how they help you work through the logistics.
Check to see that your new dentist will collaborate with the rest of your healthcare team, and then observe how it goes when you have your first visit. If you follow these steps, then the appointment should be the least complicated part of the whole process.