How to Choose a Dentist
Choosing a dentist is an important step, and if you’ve just moved to a new area, you should investigate your options before you have a dental emergency. But when you don’t have personal experience of local dentists in Calgary, AB you need to make a judgement call before you’ve even met the practitioner. How can you track down a good family dentist?
Ask friends and colleagues
Although this strategy isn’t foolproof, you can get good information from people that you know. Who attends to their teeth? Why would they recommend that particular dentist? Just listening to them will tell you whether they’re lukewarm about their dentist or really believe that he or she is a great choice.
Talk to your doctor
If you already have a doctor in the area whom you know and trust, you can ask for a recommendation. Doctors understand patient needs and will know dentists in the area, either personally or by reputation.
Is it easy to reach the dentist’s office from your home or work? You won’t want a long trek to add to the time you have to take out of your daily activities to get your teeth attended to. The hours when your prospective dentist is available may also be of interest.
Your health insurance
If you have a dental health plan, you may need to look around for a participating dentist. However, you will often find that you will have to pay first and handle claims yourself. And depending on your plan, there might be quite a wait before you’re reimbursed.
Look at online reviews
The digital age has passed on a lot of power to prospective patients. We’re better informed, and we can see how other people feel about a practitioner. Rate MDs will give you an indication of how other people have felt about a visit to the dentists you’re considering, but do remember that trolling and fake positive reviews are an online reality, so read reviews carefully to see who you should take seriously.
Look at image
Dentistry is an important form of healthcare and should not be advertised using exaggerated claims or ‘hard sell’ slogans. An overly commercial image is a warning sign that should prompt prospective patients to react with caution. A good dental clinic should be more interested in your dental health than in adopting cheap sales tricks.
Make a call
Call the surgery and get initial impressions about service levels and professionalism. Are the staff friendly and helpful? Can they answer questions about provisions for dental emergencies satisfactorily? Professional reception staff are a good indication of what you can expect from the dentist.
Go for a checkup to the dentist
There’s nothing to beat personal experience and gut feel when it comes to choosing a healthcare provider. You have to feel comfortable with your dentist and have no reservations about entering into a long-term business relationship with them. Go for a checkup and look at things like the cleanliness of the waiting area and surgery, your dentist’s interpersonal style, and his or her approach to preventative dentistry. If you feel uncomfortable with a dentist after your first visit, you may want to look further.