Are you on a search for a good neighborhood family dentistry practice? Your teeth are a very critical part of your health and wellness. When you have dental issues, it’s not just uncomfortable, it can lead to cardiovascular problems, and infections in the body. On top of that, having good dental health is important for being able to confidently smile, and that’s a big part of having good self confidence.
Basically, what we’re saying is having a neighborhood family dentistry practice that you trust, who will keep your teeth in tip-top shape is important. But how do you find a good neighborhood family dentistry practice? This is not an appropriate time for trial and error. Before entrusting your pearly whits in the hands of a dentist, make sure to ask these questions:
Five Important Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Neighborhood Family Dentistry Practice
- Will the dentist submit claims to insurance companies who are out of network?
Your insurance provider might encourage you to find a dentist within your network. However, the only benefit to doing this is that your insurance provider and the dentist’s billing office have a contract so that they don’t have to pay as much for you dental work. This might mean that you have a lower bill that you’re responsible for (or it might not), but it is not an indication of what kind of dental service you will get.
If you have a friend or family member who has a dentist they love, it’s a better indication of the service you’ll get. If a dentist who comes highly recommended doesn’t happen to be in your network of providers, just call and ask if they’ll submit claims to insurance companies they do not have a contract with. Many dental practices are willing to do this. Worst case, you may be able to still use the dentist and file your own insurance claims (although, this can be a hassle).
- What payment plans are accepted for uninsured or under-insured patients?
Dental work is expensive. That’s not a secret. Even if you have dental insurance, you still might be left with a big bill if your dental work is complicated enough. If you don’t have dental insurance at all, you can pretty much bank on it costing a bit of cash.
However, not being able to pay for your dental work should never be a reason to live with dental damage. The longer you let your teeth decay, the worse the damage is, and the more it will cost. Many dental practices are willing to work out a payment plan, or to give you a discount if you pay upfront. Whatever works best for you, look for a dentist who will work with you.
- Is the dental practice part of any professional dental association?
If the dentist you are considering is part of an association like the American Dental Association, you know that they are being held to an extra degree of accountability. Members of the American Dental Association (or a similar accredited organization) are held to ethical and professional standards, as well as advisory opinions.
- How inconvenient is it to make an appointment, and get there?
The more inconvenient it is to make a visit to your dentist, the more unlikely you will keep up with your appointments. Consider how far away the office is from your home and work, and how long of a commute you have to make to get there. Look into what hours the office is open, and how compatible it is with your work schedule. Ask how long it usually takes to get an appointment; you could have the best dentist in the world, but it does you no service if it’s impossible to be seen.
- What type of pain (or stress) management is available?
One in every five adults avoid going to the dentist because of the anxiety associated with it. If you are in this group of adults, you should seriously consider what the dentist does to put their patients at ease. Some dental practices give their patients a spa-like feeling to help them relax. Some dentists use sedation to help patients that are extremely on edge about visiting the dentist. Ask about these options before choosing a dentist.
What would you add to this list? Please share below!