If you’re ready to find a dentist for you or your family, you’ll quickly realize there are a lot of options out there. Here’s a list of 10 criteria and issues to consider to narrow your search. The right dentist in Sherwood Park is excited to hear from you. Here’s how to find them.
Look for the specific type of dentist you need
As you’re choosing a dentist, decide in advance what you’re looking for. Dentists all take the same basic education, but specialists also take additional years of education and training to provide specialized care. If you need a periodontist or pediatric dentist, the best general dentist may — however qualified and well-established — not suit your specific needs.
How current is their expertise?
All certified dentists graduate from a dental school and satisfy the requirements of the Canadian Dental Association. Every dentist has the opportunity to participate in ongoing professional training and education to stay abreast of the latest and most effective products, procedures, and technologies. As your potential dentist in Sherwood Park about their professional education program for their dentists and staff.
How much experience does your dentist have?
This isn’t to suggest you should avoid new dentists. They may have the most current and up to date practices, in fact. And every great dentist started out new at one time or another. But it is intended to remind you that experience matters. If your dentist is brand new, it’s legitimate to ask what professional support networks they have established — whether there are other experienced dentists within the practice for example. Whatever level of experience you decide to choose, you should know in advance what you’re choosing.
Schedule a consultation
Before signing up with any dentist, schedule a consultation (likely available for free or at a low cost). Do you feel comfortable with the dentist and their staff? Did they ask appropriate questions, and answer all the questions that you posed?
How is the communication?
One thing that can help distinguish between dental practices is the ease of communication. Do you feel comfortable talking to the dentist and their staff. Do they offer communication methods that suit your lifestyle — email, text messaging, online appointment management, reminders, etc.
Does the dentist offer a portfolio to review?
This may be a particularly important factor if you’re choosing a new dentist while interested in cosmetic dentistry services. As to see a portfolio of actual patient before-and-after images, and try to be sure you’re not just seeing stock photos.
Consider the dentist’s price point
Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist for their rates and information about where that stands in the marketplace for similar services. Remember the adage that you (at least sometimes) get what you pay for. That applies to specialists with particular skills to meet specific demands who may charge higher rates as well as to dentists who may charge at the bottom of the scale to distract from the fact that they lack qualifications, experience, current equipment, etc. A price point that’s off the scale — at either end — should raise a red flag.
Don’t be oversold
Describe your personal dental goals to your potential new dentist in Sherwood Park. Listen to their response. Are they making realistic and measurable projections toward meeting those goals? Or merely promising what they think you want to hear to secure your commitment.
Look closely at the clinic’s facilities
Dentistry is a medical profession. The cleanliness, safety, security, and accessibility of your dentist’s building, rooms, and equipment is essential to your health and comfort. Are the premises well-maintained? Are the staff’s uniforms clean? Is the equipment well-organized and evidently well-maintained. Even someone who knows little about the professional practice of dentistry knows a facility that is not well-respected and cared for. Don’t ignore any red flags like that.
When in doubt, consider selecting a general and/or family dentist
If after reviewing all these factors carefully, how can you distinguish between practices that may all seem to satisfy your criteria? When in doubt, choose a general or family dentist over a specialist. A general or family dentist will be able to meet your ongoing dental needs and refer you to specialists for unique issues that may arise in the future.
If you are looking for a dentist in Sherwood Park, we hope you’ll do so with this checklist of factors in mind. It’s a way of screening out potentially inappropriate options, and of narrowing the list of your many options. We look forward to hearing from you about an opportunity to support your family’s dental health now and in the future.