CHAPTER 3 Finding the Right Dentist
What to Consider in Your Choice of Dentists
Locating the right dentist for your needs may not be as easy as you think. As with every profession, there are those who are extremely capable and those with less experience and different interests. There are dentists whose personality characteristics would appeal to you and those who would be less acceptable.
Patients seeking low dental fees usually can find them, but the fees are usually low for a reason: often low quality or less complete service. Low-quality service can lead to irreparable situations or expensive redoing of therapy later. Similarly, high fees do not necessarily mean high quality. Don’t select a dentist based on fees.
Although so-called preferred providers may be competent, there is also a strong possibility that the dentists participate in the plan for various other reasons. Dentists should not be selected based on their participation or lack of participation in a specific dental plan.
Some professionals advertise in various ways, including telephone books, magazines, and newspapers. Although there are some exceptions, professionals who advertise are usually no worse or better than their lower-visibility colleagues. However, patients should be cautious of professionals who advertise with unrealistic claims or strong self-aggrandizement ads. Professional advertising can be helpful, or it can be significantly misleading. Generally, most professionals still refrain from advertising.
Only the health practitioner in question and a few of his or her colleagues know the competency of health services rendered by a specific person. Each practitioner has had to pass relatively difficult examinations in school, and has then had to pass rigorous national, state, or other geographic division tests. However, as in any area of endeavor, individual dentists may constantly improve themselves professionally, or they may concentrate their efforts on other areas and let their professional skills remain static. It is up to you to determine the acceptability of the practitioners you are considering, with help. I suggest that you use more than one of the following selection methods before you select a new dentist.
If you were satisfied with your previous dentist, he or she could probably help you locate a similar practitioner in your new location. Try to get at least two recommended names. Most dentists are members of professional organizations that publish lists of member dentists in other locations. Often your previous dentist may even know someone who lives in your new location. If referrals to specific dentists are not possible, your previous dentist may refer you to a well-known, high-quality practitioner near your new area. This person can then refer you to another dentist who practices near your home. One potential negative factor: Your previous dentist may not be up to the standard you would wan/>