No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

The Right Dentist For You

by Jeremiah Barnett

Attitudes about dentistry vary like sides of a coin. Some consider them in the same way one might think of a plumber saying "I won't call one until I need one". On the other side of the coin are those who plan each semi-annual checkup for themselves, and look forward to that freshly cleaned feeling they get when leaving the hygienist's chair.

No matter what side you're on, you need to have a close relationship to a cosmetic dentist. The right cosmetic dentist is not only an essential health care provider that can save you from the pain and suffering associated with trauma, decay, or unsightly previous restorative dentistry, but can also save you money and time. 

Getting a referral:

Patient referrals are an important part of the business plan for any dental practice, so dentists do their best to provide excellent care and customer service to ensure not only repeat business but also a high patient referral rate. Seek out a referral from your most trusted friends and associates. Consider asking the following questions when you have those discussions:

  • What is the receptionist like?
  • Does the office cancel appointments?
  • Is the office equipped with modern technology?
  • Is it easily accessible from transit, or is parking an issue if I drive? 
  • Is the dentist a calming and gentle person? 
  • Does the office offer Saturday or evening appointment times?
  • Do they offer a discount to employees of our company, or policy holders of our insurance plan?

 Make appointments:

Your best bet going forward is to schedule an office visit or three once you're armed with some names. Once you're at the office, note the decor, smell, any neighboring businesses (a smoothie can be perfect after a long visit that leaves you famished but unable to chew), and professionalism of the staff. Make sure you ask the front office staff the following three questions to ensure any future visits are without surprise: 

  1. Is payment in full expected at time of service, or do you offer payment plans/financing?
  2. What is your calendar like now? Are you booked six-months, nine-months, or one-year out?
  3. How long have you been in business at this location? Do you have other offices? 

Armed with this knowledge, you're ready to meet your new cosmetic dentist. Only you can make the final decision, so trust your instincts. At any time you can change your life for the better, and choosing the right dentist for you should be part of that change. (For more information, contact P. Jeffrey Lowe, DMD, PA)