Its about that time of year again. College students, and recent college grads, are on the move. Whether youre going off to college or moving to follow a new job, there are a lot of things you need to consider to prepare for your new life away from home. One such consideration often falls through the cracks: searching for a new dentist.
While it may not be our most favorite thing to think about, going to the dentist is necessary. Having a dentist nearby that is familiar and friendly will add peace of mind in the case of an unfortunate dental emergency. These tips will help you find the perfect dentist to keep your teeth happy and healthy.
Get To Know Your Dental Plan
First things first, you need to know what kind of dental care is available to you. Familiarize yourself with your current dental plan. Its important to know the limitations that your dental plan may have which could include limits on how often you can see a dentist in a year, or how much money will be covered per year. Most dental plans also have a network of specific dentists whose services will be covered, and keeping that in mind while on your search is key.
If you dont have a dental plan, thats okay. There are quite a few options for people looking for affordable dental care. Discounted dental plans are available and can be found online. Another option is to look into local dental clinics or dental schools who may offer care to those without insurance. Dental students need to have experience before they can become licensed dentists. Supervised by a licensed dentist or dental hygienist, they will be able to give you the proper care at a significantly reduced cost.
A great way to find some of the best dentists in your area is to ask around. Everybody needs to go to the dentist, so why not figure out where theyre going? Go ahead and ask your friends, co-workers, waitress chances are somebody in that town has had a positive dental experience, and you can be next. Be sure to listen to those who speak highly of their dentist. People who dislike going to the dentist, and only go out of necessity, are often times not going to the right dentist.
Use Dental Directories
If word-of-mouth referrals are hard to come by, it may be time to hit the web. Online dental directories can show you all the dentists in your area, and often provide reviews. If you find a dentist that looks good, do your research. Try to find other reviews or past patients who have commented on their experiences.
Use Interview Strategies
Once youve found a prospective dentist that matches all of your needs, schedule an initial consultation. This first experience with a new dentist can be one of the most important ones that you will have, and you can treat it like an interview. Its your chance to figure out what this dentist is all about pay attention to what kind of professionalism the dentist shows, and what his personality is like. Both of these factors are just as important as his credentials, and they will help you feel more comfortable going to the dentist.
Ask a lot of questions. Questions concerning appointment time options and availability of after-hours care will be beneficial down the road.
Dont Wait Until Its Too Late
Searching for the right dentist is something that could take time; its not something that you want to rush. Theres no worse feeling than having a dental emergency and not knowing where to go for help. Starting your hunt early will ensure that you have a familiar face to go to in a time of dental need.
Kevin Coutino is a freelance writer for River Bluff Dental, a leading provider of world-class general and cosmetic dentistry in the Minneapolis area, led by Dr. Walter J. Palmer, DDS.