There are many reasons why you should take good care of your oral health. To mention just a few, healthy teeth and gums are essential for your overall health, to chew food well for better nutrition, and last but not least to smile with confidence! 

Regular dental checkups and treatments performed by a competent dentist can help you protect your teeth, mouth, and gums from dental diseases and infections. However, even regular checkups may fail if you are not getting proper attention and guidance. Other aspects such as appointment availability, long travel time to the dental office, and treatment cost can also hold you back from keeping your teeth healthy. 

So how to make the right choice of dental practice for your needs? Let’s look at the 7 key factors to consider when choosing a dentist:

#1: Check Dentist Credentials

Nowadays, it is easy to find online plenty of dentists in your area. However, it can be difficult to decide which ones are reliable. Before settling on a new dentist, always research if the dentist holds an official certification as required by authorities in your country. 

For instance, in the United Kingdom, you can check the online register of the General Dental Council. In the United States, the State Dental Boards are the responsible bodies. To look up if a California-based dentist is licensed, just check the database of the Dental Board of California.

Even when it comes to routine cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening, do not compromise. A cheaper deal for teeth bleaching at the beauty salon can hide a lot of potentially harmful effects, which can be otherwise avoided by a licensed dental professional. 

The official certifications confirm that the dentist has the appropriate training and skills to provide treatment safely. Also, try to find out if the dentist has any history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. Different online directories and even local news websites can be helpful in that direction. 

#2: Genuine Online Reviews

Online reviews and client testimonials help a great deal to get an impression if a given service provider should be trusted or not. You can learn about staff demeanor, appointment scheduling, waiting times, attention to patient queries and concerns, treatment outcomes, and many other aspects of the patient experience. Take into consideration both positive and negative online reviews to get a better picture. However, keep in mind that everyone can post a review on general directories and social media platforms. 

Specialized review platforms like Dentacoin Trusted Reviews clearly distinguish reviews by real patients, submitted after a visit at the dentist. These verified reviews are genuine source of recommendations for good dental practices, as well as warnings for potential issues.

#3: Know Dentist Specialization & Treatments Offered

Look into the level of clinical experience and training the dentist has, especially if you need specific dental treatment. Note that not every dentist is proficient in the complete range of restorative and cosmetic procedures. If you need implants, it may be better that your case is referred to a specialist experienced in that field. 

Also, the range of services, equipment or brands may be different. If you made up your mind on a treatment that requires specific equipment e.g. laser or on a particular brand, ask at the dental office whether they can match your requirements. 

For example, you might have come across ads for Invisalign clear aligners. Some dentists provide other types of invisible braces with similar specs but if you insist on the brand, turn to dentists that are licensed to work with it.

#4: Referrals 

General oral practitioners may refer more complex cases to their colleagues if they find themselves not equipped to perform the required procedures.  So when it comes to such situations your regular dentist can be a good source of information for a specialist.

#5: Emergency Care Availability

Toothaches can be extremely painful and sometimes you just can’t wait to see the dentist. Dental emergencies like damaged restorations and oral trauma may occur at any time. That is why it is important to determine how dental emergencies are handled. For instance, some dentists provide weekend appointments and flexible after-hours service, while others might have limited options. 

#6: Cost

The cost of dental treatments significantly varies, depending on the specifics of each case. However, you can have an idea for the cost by knowing the fee ranges for standard procedures or asking for an estimate. Take into account that in some locations, the cost is higher due to the higher operating costs in the area. For instance, a dentist practicing in a high-end neighborhood can have 25 percent higher prices for the same treatment than practices in other locations. 

#7: Insurance

Last but not least, if you have dental insurance, it is important for you to use it to cover your treatment bills. There are various insurance plans with different types of options to claim your expenses. Note that some dental insurance plans are valid only at dental practices from their preferred provider network. In such cases, usually, you can find a list of participating dental practices on the website of your insurance provider.

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