Finding a new doctor or dentist can feel daunting. Whether you’ve recently moved or you’re not feeling 100% comfortable with your current provider, you deserve to find the right dentist for your needs. But where to start?
THE FIRST STEP TOWARD FINDING THE RIGHT DENTIST: START YOUR SEARCH
Starting the search sometimes feels like the biggest roadblock to this whole process. However, a few moments on the internet can at least give you somewhere to start. For most people, that means searching close to home or work, and finding a dentist that will be convenient to visit. For some people, finding a great match is worth a little time on the road! For example, even though Anderson Family Dental’s address is in Winter Park, we see plenty of patients from all over Central Florida. You can also check with the ADA directory or local dental society.
While Google reviews can give you some insight, there is no substitute for a good recommendation from someone you know. Just keep in mind that not all of your friends or family members will have the same dental needs as you. If your sister loves going to the dentist but you have dental phobia, the hygienist she feels comfortable with may make you want to run for the hills. Be open to recommendations but take them with a grain of salt.
SEARCH FOR DENTISTS WHO CAN ADDRESS YOUR NEEDS
Once you’ve got a few names in mind, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Check the practice out and make sure they’re equipped to provide for your dental needs. Do they offer cosmetic dentistry? If so, do they provide before and after images? If you have periodontal disease or other chronic issues, is this dentist prepared to provide treatment? Do they offer sedation or other methods to keep you comfortable in the chair? Think of specific things you would want in your perfect dentist and try to find someone who ticks as many boxes as possible.
CONSIDER GOING OUT-OF-NETWORK
If you have dental insurance, it is tempting to settle for a less-than-perfect match just because the practice is in network for your insurance. Being “in-network” just means that the dentist has made an agreement with certain insurance companies to accept lower pay for procedures than they would normally.
Unless you have serious restorative needs, it may be worth it to eat the extra cost of going with an out-of-network doctor if they’re a great match for you. Many dentists will work with your insurance and help you out with pricing adjustments or payment plans when needed.
That being said, if finances are a major concern for you, don’t be shy about saying so! Ask whether the practice works with your insurance, as well as what financial assistance options they offer, should the need arise.
MEET THE DENTIST: MAKE SURE THEY'RE RIGHT FOR YOUR NEEDS!
Dr. Anderson welcomes you to schedule a consultation to meet the team and get to know us. A brief consultation appointment will give you the opportunity to scope out any potential practice and make sure you feel comfortable. This is a great way to get a feel for the dentist and assess how your personalities mesh.
You may want to take a few moments ahead of time to write down some questions. Are there any specific dental needs you want addressed? Do you have high dental anxiety? These are the types of specifics you’ll want to bring to the doctor’s attention so you can be sure they can address your needs and keep you comfortable during every visit.
While it’s not strictly necessary, it can sometimes also be helpful to bring dental records with you, or have them emailed to the practice ahead of time. Especially if you’ve had chronic or ongoing dental health issues, these records can give your potential dentist great insight into how prepared they are to help.
HOW TO TELL IF A DENTIST IS DR. RIGHT?
At the end of the day, finding the right dentist for your needs is about feeling comfortable with them. Ideally, the thought of a dental visit shouldn’t make you lose sleep the night before. Try to find a doctor who respects your autonomy as a patient, and who won’t make you feel bullied into treatments you don’t fully understand. Your perfect dental team should be partners in your journey toward better health.
We hope you will find your perfect match here at Anderson Family Dental! Call us any time to ask how we can help you achieve better oral health and a more beautiful smile. When you’re ready, we would be happy to set you up with a consultation or new patient exam so you can get to know us better!