Questions to Help You Find a Top Dentist
When you are looking for a Top Dentist to take care of your teeth, you have every right to shop around. Finding the best dentist often requires you to learn a little more than you’ll find in a yellow pages ad. After you find out whether the dentist takes your insurance, has hours that work for you and offers financing options, start digging deeper.
Questions for a Potential Top Dentist
Here are questions you can use to help determine if a prospective provider is a Top Dentist or just average:
- How many years have you been in practice?
- How many years have you been at your current location?
- Do you have any areas of specialization?
- How many hours of continuing education do you take per year?
- What professional dental associations do you belong to?
- Are you participating in any dental research projects?
- Are you associated with any teaching programs to train other dentists in new techniques?
Ask a Dentist About His Office Technology
To find out more about the quality of equipment and processes used at the dentist’s office, you might ask these questions:
- What type of equipment do you use for radiography (taking x-rays)?
- What’s the oldest piece of equipment you use in the office? What’s the newest?
- What’s the next new piece of equipment you plan to acquire and why?
- Do you perform any dental surgery procedures using laser technology?
- What process do you use to ensure dental instruments are sterile? (Here are the CDC’s guidelines for monitoring the dental instrument sterilization process.)
- When is the last date that your autoclave was inspected?
Questions About a Desired Dental Procedure
- How many of these procedures do you do per year?
- Can I speak with previous patients who have undergone this procedure recently? (Top Dentists tend to have loyal patients who are happy to share about their experiences.)
- Do you have before and after pictures available (for cosmetic or reconstructive procedures)?
- What types of complications have you seen with this procedure? How did you address those issues?
- What software do you use to help visualize and plan the treatment?
- Are there any steps you might take to minimize the number of visits required to complete treatment? (This might be done on a case-by-case basis as appropriate.)
Talk to a Top Dentist About Dental Anxiety
If you have concerns about visiting the dentist because of previous painful experiences or because you feel anxious, ask these questions:
- What types of sedation do you have available?
- Do you provide any form of sedation for simple procedures such as a cleaning?
- How much choice do patients have about their sedation options?
- What health conditions might prevent me from having the type of sedation I want?
- Are you reachable to treat dental emergencies for existing patients after hours or on weekends?