If you're like most people who are planning a move in the near future or who have already moved, you're going to have to find a new family dentist. Many people in your position are able to get personal recommendations from their former dentist for a suitable replacement in their new community, but this isn't always the case — your old dentist may not know anyone in the city you're moving to. Finding a new dentist can be a daunting task, especially if you're looking for a dentist for the entire family.
Fortunately, it's possible to narrow down possibilities using a set of questions designed to help determine the suitability of individual dental practices for your individual needs and preferences. The following are four questions that you should ask when you're looking for a new family dentist.
Do You Accept Children as Well as Adults?
Most families find it far easier to have the same general dentist for every member of the family. This is because it's usually possible to set up block appointments instead of making appointments for different dates and times. For instance, if you have three children, you can make their appointments on the same day within the same block of time, which will save significant time and hassle.
What Forms of Payment Do You Accept?
Whether or not the dentist accepts your type of insurance is an understandable deal-breaker for most families, but there are additional questions you should ask once you've determined that the practice accepts your insurance. For instance, are co-pays due at the time of service, or are they billed out? Does the office staff of the practice handle the insurance claims, or will you have to take care of this yourself?
Do You Offer Emergency Services?
If you've got kids, you undoubtedly already know that injuries and accidents have a way of happening outside of normal office hours. No dentist with a large practice can be expected to be available on a 24-hour basis to their patients, but many family dentists have contingency plans in place such as working with a network of other local dentists to rotate emergency availability.
Do You Have References?
This question should be asked last and only if none of the prior questions have eliminated the dentist from your consideration. Most dentists will be happy to supply you with references from both patients and colleagues, but there's no sense in asking unless you are seriously considering the dentist for your family's oral health care needs.
One of the most important things, however, is that you feel comfortable with the dentist and feel that they're the best one for your family. Use these tips to look for a dentist in your area.