Unfortunately, more than 91 percent of US adults have some degree of tooth decay. Though regular dental cleanings and oral care appointments will help keep tooth decay from becoming a problem, you need to stay on top of it. And for your kids, this means getting them in the habit of good oral hygiene early on.
The best way to do this is to schedule regular dentist appointments. But for many people, finding a smile care provider to treat the entire family can be a challenge.
It doesn’t have to be. Here are a few simple tips to help you find a dentist the entire family will love.
1. Choose a Dentist That Works on All Ages
When you’re looking for a family dentist to handle everyone’s smile care needs, you need to find someone who is willing to work on all ages.
Remember, many dentists specialize in either adult care or pediatric dentistry. Only some will happily work with people of all ages.
When calling around, don’t hesitate to ask which age groups they accept as patients. If one dentist doesn’t accept kids, but another at the same practice does, you may still be able to go to that dental office.
Before you make an appointment, think about what you’re comfortable with. If you’re looking for a single dentist to treat the entire family, say so. This way, you’ll know if the dental practice will work for you immediately.
2. Look Into Their Insurance Partners
If you have dental insurance, you’ll want to choose a dentist that’s in your insurance network. You can find this information out two ways.
First, you can always call your dental insurance company and ask for a list of dentists they partner with in your area. Otherwise, you can ask each dentist you call about the insurance providers they accept.
The front desk and billing specialists at dental practices get these questions all the time. They’ll be able to give you the information you need quickly.
3. Think About the Location and Their Hours
You want your dentist office to be convenient both to your home and your kids’ school. Think of it this way: dentist appointments often happen after school. The sooner you can get them there, the sooner they can be ready to tackle their homework.
If you have to drive miles out of your way to go to those regular appointments, it will make things far more stressful.
Before you choose a dentist, make sure you’re comfortable with their location and their hours. If the practice isn’t located where you need it to be or their hours don’t line up with your family’s schedule, keep looking.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Friends
Believe it or not, the best place to start looking for a smile care provider is with the people you know and trust. Ask your friends, family, and coworkers who their families see.
Then, ask them about their experience with those dentists. If they’re happy with the treatments they’ve received and haven’t had trouble getting appointments when they need them, you can expect the same service.
Even better, if you have a patient referral, you may find it easier to get an appointment even if the dentist isn’t taking new patients at the moment.
5. Make Sure They Offer the Types of Smile Care You Want
Believe it or not, not all dentists offer the same services. All dentists provide standard cleanings, fillings, and general oral health treatments. But others provide more specialized services.
According to this dentist, it’s vital that you find a practice that can treat everything you and your family feel worried about. If you’re concerned about cosmetic issues like crooked or missing teeth, look for a dentist that can help with those issues, too.
Otherwise, you’ll have to make appointments with different doctors. Not only will this take up time, but it can also prolong your treatment and keep you from getting the smile you want quickly.
6. Check Their Reviews and Testimonials
Once you’ve narrowed things down to a few dental practices, take a moment to check their reviews and their customer testimonials online. This will give you a general idea of what others’ experiences have been like.
If the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, you can expect the same experience and quality of service for your family. But if the reviews express concerns about the quality of care or show other negative themes, pay attention.
You may still want to schedule a consultation and speak with the dentist. Remember, some negative reviews get left by disgruntled patients who blow minor issues out of proportion. Regardless, use your discretion and always go with a practice you feel you can trust.
7. Schedule a Consultation
The best way to find out if you and your family will like a dentist is to schedule a consultation. These appointments give you a chance to check out the waiting room and the treatment rooms to see if it’s a place that feels clean and inviting.
You’ll also have the chance to meet the dentist and their assistants to get a feel for their personalities and their knowledge. If you feel that the practice meets your family’s needs and you’re comfortable with the staff, consider scheduling a cleaning.
But if you’re less than impressed with the office or simply feel that it’s not the right choice, keep looking. You may also want to schedule consultations with several offices in the area to help you find the best practice possible.
The more information you have about each office, the easier it will be to narrow down your choices.
When it comes to your family, you want to give them the best. Finding the right dentist to handle everyone’s smile care needs doesn’t have to be tough. Take your time, do your research, and you’ll find a dentist the entire family will love.
For more helpful tips on keeping your family happy and healthy, check out our latest posts.