7 Important Questions to Ask When Choosing a New Dentist

Feb 7, 2022

Data from 2020 shows that only 63% of American adults visited the dentist in a 12 month period. While there are many reasons that people choose not to go to their local dentist, one reason may be that they haven’t found the best dentist for them. In this article, we offer our best questions to ask a new dentist before your first visit.

These questions apply to a general dentist, cosmetic dentist, and more. Continue reading to take your dental future into your hands.

1. What Dental Services Do You Provide?

One of the first questions you should ask a potential new dentist is about the services they offer. The best dentist in cosmetic surgery may not be helpful to you if you need a standard exam and cleaning.

Your local dentist may be a cosmetic dentist but they may also be a general dentist or an emergency dentist. It’s important to understand the services available to you so that you can make an informed decision about your care.

Needed Services

While trying to a new local dentist, you might have a particular procedure in mind. However, many dentists will need to establish you as a client before they can jump into procedures.

Don’t be surprised if a new patient exam is required before receiving detailed information on procedures or treatments. This is for your safety as well as the safety of the dental practice.

2. What’s Your Relationship With Your Clients Like?

Another important question to help you find a dentist is about their relationship with their clients. While some may not care whether their general dentist is good with patients or not, it’s essential for others.

The best dentist treats their patients like family. Their goal should be to get to know each patient to help them feel relaxed and cared for. Not only does this make the experience better but it also improves the ability to communicate effectively.

Online Reviews

If you want a better idea of the dentist-client relationship at a different dental practice, consider doing some research online. A quick internet search will pull up some of the most recent reviews from a practice’s clients.

If the information shared by clients matches up with what your new dentist describes, then you know you’ve found a great dentist. If not, then you know to keep searching.

3. How Do You Handle Dental Anxiety?

Approximately 36% of the population is affected by dental anxiety. Some people try to avoid their local dentist as much as possible. Dental anxiety can cause some patients to allow problems to worsen to the point of severe pain.

If this applies to you, one of your questions for a new dentist should be about dental anxiety. Your general or cosmetic dentist may offer you options for sedation so you can fully relax during your appointment.

4. What Financing Options Do You Offer?

Before scheduling an appointment with a new dentist, you want to fully understand your options for payment. The best place to start is to ask about the insurance policies they accept and their billing policies.

If you find a dentist you love but they don’t accept your insurance, talk with your insurance about submitting a claim after the visit. Keep in mind, you may need to pay for your bill upfront.

5. What Is Your Availability for Appointments?

Whether you’re booking with a cosmetic dentist or a general dentist, dentistry is a busy industry. If you need to see a dentist sooner rather than later, this should be one of your top questions.

You should also be sure to ask about new client scheduling vs scheduling for an established client. New clients can expect to wait longer to be seen but if the wait time is the same when you become an established client, you may want to rethink your options.

6. How Do You Continue to Develop Your Knowledge?

If you want to find a dentist you can trust, make sure they are always improving their knowledge and skills. The best dentist will make a habit of attending workshops or reviewing published works in their field.

For many dentists, education is a way to improve their procedures. This is important not just for the sake of efficiency, but for better patient care as well.

7. What Can I Expect at My First Visit?

Once you find a dentist that you love, your final question should be about setting expectations for your first visit. The first visit with your new dentist requires a lot of paperwork and establishing baselines for care.

Setting these expectations in advance is important. It allows you to bring all necessary identification and information. Plus, it allows you to feel better prepared for your visit.

Developing a Treatment Plan

After you’re done filling out new patient forms and providing insurance information, you’ll meet your dentist. Many dentists perform x-rays at the first visit to see where your teeth are at currently.

Your dentist will give you a thorough exam and discuss any recommendations for treatments and/or at-home care. They will also discuss when you need to come back for your next visit.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If you want to find the best dentist for you, you need to ask the right questions. Asking some of the above questions can feel intimidating but it’s important if you want the right care.

The right dentist will be happy to give you some reassurance as to why you should become part of their clientele. Plus, it will make it easier to ask questions about your dental health later on. Good communication is an important part of good oral health.

Find a New Dentist That’s Right for You

Finding a new dentist that’s right for you may seem daunting, especially if you don’t know what questions to ask. With the above guide, you have all the questions you need to make an informed decision about your dental health.

If you’re ready to ask your questions or schedule an appointment, contact us today to get started.