Has it been a lot more than six months since you last made a trip to your dentist office for a cleaning and checkup? If so, you are not alone. Going to the dentist office when you don’t have any (known) dental issues seems like a big hassle. On top of that, many people have anxiety around sitting in that reclining chair in the dentist office. There aren’t many things that are done at a dentist office that are pleasant.
It’s easy to just put off your bi-annual visit to any dental offices until you suddenly wake up one day with a raging pain in half of your face, and require emergency dental care. If you had just paid a visit the dentist before you had a raging problem in your mouth, the issue could have been caught. This would have been cheaper, far less painful, and left your mouth in better shape. Now that we’ve expressed all the reason why you need to have a regular dentist, we’ll get off our pedestal.
If you don’t already have a dentist that you’ve been avoiding, you have to find one. We’ve put together a quick guide to finding a great dentist:
Four Tips for Finding a Great Dentist
- Understand Your Dental Insurance
The type of dental insurance that you have will have a big impact on the dentist that you can seek care at. If your dental insurance is a PPO (preferred provider organization), you might be required to go to a dentist in your insurance’s network of providers. You’ll want to contact your insurance provider in advance and understand your coverage before you select a dentist.
In some cases, you are able to go to a dentist outside of your network, but you’ll have to pay a small percentage more, or you’ll have to file the insurance claim on your own. This might be worth it if you know of a really great dentist who you feel comfortable with. Remember, you can make more money if they cost more, it’s a lot harder to make more teeth if you skip on dental care (although dental implants are more affordable than ever..).
- Make it Convenient to Get to the Dentist
The more difficult it is to get in to the dentist, the more unlikely that you’ll ever make your way there. After you understand which dentists are in your network and who you can see, consider what is convenient for you to keep up with. Take into consideration where the dental offices are located and the commute from your home or office. Definitely ask about extended hours; many dentists take appointments on nights or weekends to accommodate people who work during the week. It’s nice to be able to go to the dentist without having to take time off of work.
- Ask About Alternative Payment Options
It’s a big bummer when you don’t have dental insurance, but this should never stop you from getting the care you need. Many dentists have alternative payment options to accommodate patients who are uninsured. Your dentist might offer a discount if you pay for your services upfront, or you might be able to find a dentist who will accept a payment plan for your dental work. The point is, the health of your teeth is important for your overall well-being; you should never skip going to the dentist because you don’t have dental insurance! There are options that make it affordable to everyone; you just have to find the right dentist.
- Look for Anxiety-reducing Options
If the thought of going to the dentist makes you want to breakout in a cold sweat, you aren’t alone. One in five adults skips out on the dentist because they have a sense of anxiety about it. Dental offices understand this and many cater to making their patients feel calm and comfortable in the chair. Some dentists offer stress reducing medication that make their patients feel calm. Other dentists create an environment and experience for their patients that feels more like a visit to the spa than the dentist. Other dentists show movies during the patient’s care, to take their mind of the work being done to their teeth. If you feel anxiety about going to the dentist, you should look for a dentist who understands that.