5 Tips for Finding a Dentist You Love
Most health experts recommend visiting the dentist every six months for professional dental cleanings, x-rays, and exams. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, an organization that focuses on national health issues, about 40% of the American population is overdue for their bi-annual visit to their local family dentistry practice.
About 15% of people who avoid going to the dentist have a phobia or anxiety about the dental appointments. Others do not have proper medical insurance to pay for it and can only stay on top of their dental care if they are able to find a cheap dentist. Some people just don’t know how to find a local dentist that meets their needs. If you are in the group of people who does not know how to find a local dentist to keep your dental health in tiptop shape, we’ve put together a list of tips below.
How to Find a Local Dentist to Stay on Schedule With Your Dental Care
- Ask around for referrals.
The best way to find a dentist you love is to find one who people you know love. Ask friends and family members for referrals and make a short list of dentists to consider. If you are new in town and don’t know anyone who could point you in the right direction, you might have luck researching a customer review website like Yelp or Google Reviews, or posing the question on a local thread on Reddit.
- Check with your insurance provider.
Depending on what type of insurance you have, you may need to go to a specific dentist within your network in order for your dental costs covered. However, if you find a local dentist who your friends, family, and coworkers highly recommend who is out of network, you might be able to use them still, just call and ask if they can submit claims to insurance providers they are not associated with. It’s often is not a problem, just make sure you check beforehand.
- Consider alternative payment options.
Some statistics show that about 45 million of the 301 million people in our country have comprehensive dental insurance; if you did the math, you know that’s as little as 15% of the American population. About half of uninsured Americans avoid necessary dental services because of the cost. If this is you, you may be able to afford a necessary dental visit if you find a dentist who will work with you. Some dentists offer payment plans, and others will provide discounts for uninsured patients. Don’t avoid going to the dentist because you’re not covered, just do your research and find one who will accommodate you.
- Consider the location and office hours.
An important factor when we consider how to find a local dentist to get routine dental care act is the convenience of it. Even if you find a fantastic dentist, who everyone loves, and who will work with your payment situation, if they are over an hour drive away and you have to take a day off to fit in their schedule, it will be difficult to stay in the habit of getting care when you need it. To help ensure you get the dental care you need as you need it, consider finding a dentist nearby that has hours that you could visit on your lunch break, for example.
- Ask what type of pain and anxiety management the dentist offers.
There’s nothing to be ashamed if the thought of visiting the dentist gives you heart palpitations. Like we mentioned, about 15% of adults avoid going to the dentist because they have anxiety about it. If you are one of those people, you should look for a dentist who offers something to calm your nerves during your visit. Some dentists have spa-like settings in their offices to help you relax, and some dentists even offer sedation if you need it to get through the appointment. Don’t avoid the dentist because you’re afraid of it, just look for dentist who understands your apprehension and will work around it.
If you find it difficult to stay on top of visiting your dentist, you might need to find one who better meets your needs. Hopefully, our list of tips above will help you get on the right track!