Maintaining the oral health of yourself and your family is very important for lifelong wellness. With a combination of proper home care and regular cleanings at your family dentist, you will maximize your family’s chances of having healthy smiles for years to come.
Looking for a dentist, however, can be overwhelming, especially when there are many practices to choose from. To help you decide, here are some key factors to consider when choosing a family dentist.
1. Will they take your insurance?
First and foremost, you need to make sure that you can afford your dentist’s services.
- Will your prospective dentist take your insurance plan?
- Do you have an HMO, PPO, or a Delta Dental Plan, and how much will these plans cover at this particular practice?
- Do you plan to self-pay or do medical bill sharing?
Whatever your payment choice is, make sure you understand the finances involved and what is covered.
NOTE: LA Dental Clinic has an in-house plan for people with no insurance. For just $200 per year, you get 2 free cleanings and 20% off fillings, crowns and other treatments. If you’re looking to cover your family, the cost is just $350 per year. Please contact us for more information.
2. How much do the procedures cost?
Every practice has different prices, so it is good to get estimates from your prospective dentist on how much standard procedures like fillings would cost.
Since there is a possibility that you will be partially paying for some common procedures, it is good to know what to expect in terms of prices.
It is wise to explore these costs in light of what your dental insurance would cover to ultimately decide if going with this family dentist would be smart for your finances.
3. Where is it located?
For the sake of convenience, you would not want to choose a practice that is too far from you. It is much easier to arrive at your appointments on time at a place that is reasonably close to your home and/or work.
If you choose an office that is at an inconvenient location to your home, you risk being stuck in traffic and being late to your appointments.
4. Are the hours and days they are open convenient for you?
Choose an office that will be open when you are available. If you are usually busy during traditional business hours, then a practice that is open on evenings and weekends would be ideal.
If you choose a practice that operates on hours inconvenient to your schedule, it would be very difficult to make appointments without straining your schedule.
5. Is it Family-Friendly?
A good family dentist will have an office that is friendly toward both adults and children. A waiting room with a “kid’s corner” that has toys, video games, books, and other activities is a good sign that this office cares for patients of all ages.
6. Is it easy to make an appointment?
If the practice has taken on a heavy load of patients, it may be difficult to get an appointment at a time that is convenient for you or your family.
Be sure to explore the dentist’s availability before committing to using his or her practice. Nothing is more frustrating than being unable to book a follow-up appointment at a convenient time due to a dentist’s over-packed schedule.
7. Can they refer you to specialists?
If you have an insurance plan that requires a referral to see a specialist, will this dentist be able to provide one?
8. What are their qualifications?
Is your prospective dentist certified? Is he or she part of professional associations like the American Dental Association (ADA) or Academy of General Dentistry (AGD)?
Is your dentist licensed by the state? You should be able to ask these questions in person. It’s also possible to check your state’s dental boards online to verify that your dentist is licensed and in good standing.
9. Do they have a good reputation?
When you ask around for a good dentist, does this practice’s name come up? A good dentist builds a reputation of trust in the community.
A family dentist’s office should especially have a reputation for friendliness and have a warm, inviting atmosphere and staff. If people like coming here, then you will likely enjoy your experience at this practice as well.
10. What procedures are done in the office, and which are not?
Some offices refer out certain procedures, and it is good to know which ones for the sake of convenience. If you need a dental procedure that can’t be done with your regular dentist, where would you have to go to get this particular procedure?
By following these ten simple considerations, you will be able to determine which practice will be perfect for you and your family. By finding the best balance between convenience, cost, qualifications, and reputation, you can make an informed decision on the dentist for your family.
If you’d like to consider LA Dental Clinic as your family dentist, please contact us today!