Finding the right dental healthcare provider for you and your loved ones
Whether you’ve moved to a new city or simply have never had a family dentist, choosing the right one for your family is an important decision. It can also be quite difficult, especially if you don’t know where to start. Depending on your family’s needs, there are a variety of factors that come into play when looking for a dentist.
This is why it’s so important to do your research and choose wisely – putting your faith in the wrong dentist can be a waste of both your time and money. This article will explain the importance of finding the right dentist along with all the factors you should consider before going ahead with the decision.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Dentist
Selecting the right dentist to care for your family’s oral health takes careful consideration. As a golden rule, a good dentist will combine their clinical expertise with warmth, bedside manner and a genuine concern for patients.
Factors to Take into Consideration When Choosing A Dentist:
Location & Hours of Operation
The old adage ‘location, location, location!’ does not only apply to real estate. When looking for a family dentist, it’s important to take convenience into consideration. As most dental appointments take place during work and school hours, many parents have limited time to take off work and pick their children up from school.
Some busy parents may be able to find a dental office that is open on weekends, or even some evenings. Either way, choosing a dentist who is close in proximity to your house, workplace or your children’s school will save you a ton of time in the long run when it comes to scheduling and commuting.
The culture of a dental office is the character personality that shows how the staff treats their patients and each other, plus the staff’s fundamental beliefs and work ethics. This is becoming increasingly important to prospective patients and should absolutely be taken into consideration when choosing a family dentist.
Does the clinic you’re looking at invest in its community? Do they treat all patients fairly and without prejudice? Ask yourself these questions, and don’t be afraid to bring it up during your consultation.
Services, Experience & Specialties
Before choosing someone to be your family dentist, it’s important to consider your family’s unique situation. Every family is different – children and seniors tend to have different oral health needs than working-age adults. This is why you should always ask a potential provider about their specialties and what services they offer before signing on with them. For example, is the dentist you’re looking at accustomed to working with seniors and/or children?
You should also review their education, certifications, and which languages they speak. When you’ve taken the initiative to get to know your provider and what they can offer you, you’re more likely to have a positive experience. Plus, this is a great way to help ease your mind (or, in some cases, change your mind) before you even step foot in the clinic.
In this day and age, thousands of reviews are only a click away. Many dental offices use verified review services to give current and new patients a clear insight into the level of care they provide. If the provider you’re looking at uses one of these services, it’s a good sign right off the bat – they are most likely transparent and honest. You may also find reviews on the office’s Google listing or Facebook page.
If you see one or two bad reviews for a prospective family dentist, you should absolutely take note of them and address it during your consultation. In many cases, the provider will be able to clarify the reasons that person had such a negative experience. However, if the dentist you’re looking at is consistently receiving terrible reviews, it’s probably best to simply move on.
It is common for young children to have reservations – or even to be afraid – when it comes to visiting the dentist. This is why it’s so important to choose a family dentist with a winning personality, who will make the whole family feel comfortable and at peace throughout their visit. There’s nothing more impersonal than a dentist who doesn’t even take the time to remember your name.
Instead, choose someone who you feel a true connection with. Someone with a calming demeaner who will make everyone – especially children – feel at ease and eager to return for their next appointment. Do they give your child a sticker or a new toothbrush to take home with them after their appointment, or help to teach them about healthy dental hygiene habits? Do they have a voice that puts you and your family at ease?
Believe it or not, these can be important considerations. Discuss this with your family before deciding.
Do They Offer Emergency Service?
Whether a dentist offers emergency service is rarely something people take into consideration until they have to. Whether we’re talking about a sports-game-gone-wrong, a fall or an unfortunate run-in with a hard candy or food, you never know when you’ll need to make an emergency trip to the dentist. Finding a dentist that offers emergency services is critical – especially for families with children or seniors.
But if you went ahead and chose a family dentist without considering this important factor, you may not realize just how important it is until it’s too late. Waiting until Monday to repair a chipped or lost tooth can not only be inconvenient and painful, but it can also cause the injured area to deteriorate while you wait for your appointment. If your dentist is all booked up, the wait can be even longer.
Dentists who offer emergency services will be able to fit you in at the moment you need them, putting you and your family at ease no matter your dental health situation or lifestyle.
Recommendations from Family and Friends
When people we know and love have positive experiences with their dentist, we feel more at ease about choosing them for ourselves and our families. The way a provider makes someone feel when they’re in the chair is important, and hearing about a great dental experience can be more meaningful when it comes from someone we trust, versus reading about it from a stranger online.
To feel more confident about your care, try leveraging the experiences of others in making decisions about your new family dentist. Many dentists also offer special referral rates.
Getting your family’s teeth cleaned and going in for regular checkups can have a significant impact on health and well-being. Even though choosing a family dentist can be a daunting decision, if you follow the tips listed above you can be confident that you’ve chosen someone who will give you and your family the top quality care you need.
If you’re looking for a family dentist in the Ottawa area, give us a call today and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have to help you get the ball rolling.