Finding a new dentist can be hard. Whether you’ve just moved to a new area, your old dentist retired, or you just need a change, there’s a lot to research, and finding the right fit for you and your family is important.
Here are a few tips about what to look for to make sure you choose the right dental practice for your long-term dental care.
Qualifications and Credentials Your Dental Professionals Need
Making sure your dentist is qualified is perhaps the most important thing you can do.
There are two degrees your dentist might have: a DDS or a DMD. They are both doctorates in dentistry.
DDS stands for Doctor of Dental Surgery, while DMD stands for Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry. For example, here at South Florida Dental, Dr. Frydman has a DMD, while Dr. Kottar has a DDS. Both degrees have the same requirements. Different schools simply have different terminology.
After your dentist earns their degree, they also have to pass several tests to practice in Florida. First and foremost, they must pass the National Board Dental exams. They must also achieve ADEX licensing and pass the Florida Laws and Rules exam.
A Good Reputation Always Precedes a Great Dental Office
Once you know your dentist is properly credentialed, you should find out whether people actually like them. Like any person with a degree, it’s completely possible for a dentist to have one, and still not be up to your personal standards.
Ask your friends and family first about their dentists. Search for testimonials and reviews for dentists you’re considering. If you find lots of happy patients and hear good things, then you have probably found a keeper.
Another great resource for making sure your dentist is up to snuff? Your local Better Business Bureau office can help!
When You Have Dental Insurance
Having dental insurance instead of self-paying can change how you choose your dentist, as well. When you do carry a dental policy, you should make the most of those monthly premiums you are already paying. Besides 100-percent preventative care coverage, a fair amount of treatment can be strategically timed to maximize your benefits between calendar years.
Your first step is checking whether the dentist you’re interested in is a part of your insurance plan. And there are two ways to do it. Check through your insurance portal or simply call the dentist’s office and have them check into it for you.
We recommend calling due to issues insurance companies sometimes have with updating information. Calling ahead will not only eliminate any unwanted surprises; it will also allow the office to go ahead and confirm your benefits to make your appointments run more smoothly!
Finding a Dental Care Provider with the Same Schedule as You
Finally, all the qualifications and insurance coverage in the world won’t do any good if you can’t make it into the office! Often dental offices keep to strict business hours (9a-5p) or are only open a few days a week.
Depending on your personal situation, that just may not work best for you. At least some early morning and evening appointment options tend to work best for most people, and you’ll want to check into their emergency care policies, as well.
Expanded hours can also indicate that the office is popular within your community and/or they want to ensure enough individualized time with each patient.
While going to a new dentist probably isn’t your ideal errand, feeling confident about the practice and knowing what you can expect during your appointment before you go in can make a huge difference in your experience.
Doing your research can ensure you’re going to a well-liked, accredited doctor that also makes sense financially. If you’re looking for a new provider in the South Florida area for 2020, reach out! We are ready to answer your questions.