Finding a good dentist is more than just picking a professional to clean your teeth. Having a partner in your oral health care that you can trust is invaluable. Your teeth and gums not only affect your appearance, but a growing body of research suggests your oral health is linked to chronic disease, premature birth, and even cancer.
So how can you find a dentist that fulfills this important role? To find an Asheville dental practice that’s convenient, trustworthy, experienced, and professional, follow these tips to find the best dentist for you to help you keep up with your oral health.
Place a Priority on Communication
With any professional, especially a healthcare professional, it’s important to have good communication. Dentists aren’t just doctors; they’re educators. A dentist that simply cleans your teeth and sends you on your way might not be your best choice.
A good Asheville dentist, and dental hygienist, will explain what spots you’re missing when you brush, offer tips for reaching difficult areas, and can suggest other areas of improvement. A dentist may or may not recommend a specific type of floss or toothbrush, but they should want you to take good care of your teeth and gums and show you how to do a good job.
In addition, if you need any type of treatments other than a professional cleaning, your dentist in Asheville should thoroughly explain the treatment as well as all of its risks, what benefits it offers, and any alternative treatments available. For nearly every dental issue, there is more than one treatment. Your dentist should be able to clearly communicate your choices so that you feel confident that you’re making the best decision for you.
If your dentist can’t communicate well or doesn’t invest their time in your oral health, consider getting a second opinion or searching elsewhere for your oral care.
Staying on top of your dental health is a key factor in preventing diseases such as periodontal disease and catching other problems such as cavities and oral cancer early. Therefore, it’s important to choose an Asheville dentist who will be convenient for you so you can regularly make appointments.
Depending on what’s most important to you in an oral healthcare professional, you may place a priority on a location that’s easier for you to access or hours that work with your schedule. Take convenience into account when researching dentists in your area.
You may also consider other details of convenience, such as whether or not the dentist is in your insurance network, if you need a dentist that sees both adults and children, or a dentist that offers emergency care hours on the nights and weekends.
Regardless of what factors you need to evaluate for convenience, be sure to choose a dentist who will suit your schedule so that you’re more likely to keep your regular appointments!
Weigh Insurance vs. Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Don’t let lack of dental insurance prevent you from receiving the oral care that you need. Although searching for a dentist that’s out-of-network or looking for a dentist when you don’t have dental insurance can feel difficult, you still have options.
Many dentists offer discounts or specials, so you should absolutely ask about these. For example, many dentists offer new patient specials that involve a dental exam and a cleaning. If you need any work done outside of an exam and cleaning and you don’t have dental insurance, you’ll want to evaluate prices.
You don’t have to forgo a quality dentist just because you don’t have dental insurance. You deserve the best care, and many excellent dentists are affordable.
You may also consider signing up for a dental discount plan, but be aware that some dentists don’t participate in these plans. You can also ask a dentist you’re considering about their policy on payment plans, their payment options, and discounts for specific groups, such as military discounts or senior citizen discounts.
Evaluate Your Comfort
Most importantly, how comfortable you feel at your dentist’s office is the most important thing. You want to feel comfortable asking questions, asking for what you need, and communicating with the dentist as well as the staff.
You also want to feel secure addressing any concerns you may have, such as dental anxiety. Some experts speculate that up to 15% of the American population experiences dental anxiety, so don’t feel like you’re alone in addressing your concerns. Other research estimates the number to be even higher.
Your dentist should also have minimal waiting time, a clean office, and a friendly and professional staff. It’s imperative that you feel good about your dentist in Asheville, otherwise, you may be less likely to follow through with your oral care.
Take the Kids
When you need a dentist that’s good with kids to help take care of your children’s teeth, you may be able to ask your child’s pediatrician for a recommendation, or you can schedule a few visits with dentists who see children in your area. When you need to be sure your little ones are getting their checkups, having the right dentist can make the appointments go by much easier for you and your kids!
Where to Start
Finding the best dentist can begin at many starting points. First, you may ask friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors for references. If you’re new to the area, this can be especially helpful instead of just trying to find a dentist on your own.
You can also utilize the American Dental Association’s search tool for approved professionals. Your insurance company can help you locate dentists in your network, but you’ll need to do your own research to determine if any of these dentists are a good fit for you. If not, it may make sense to seek a dentist outside your network. Ask your insurance company what their policy about receiving out-of-network care is if you have dental insurance.
If you’re moving to a new area, you can always ask your current dentist for a referral to a professional in your new location. Your former dentist will be happy to hear that you’re continuing your oral health care!
Don’t waste time finding the right dentist for you. Whether you invest time in doing your own research or ask for a recommendation, the best dentist can make your oral care easier and make your smile healthier and brighter. Make time to visit your local dentist in Asheville to evaluate the team and maybe even make an appointment your smile will thank you!