Selecting the right dentist is an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your dental health impacts your overall health and quality of life. Having a dentist you like and trust can make all the difference when it comes to getting the care you need.
If you live in St. George, Utah and are looking to establish care with a new dentist, use this guide to help you make the best choice.
Research Dentists in Your Area
The first step is compiling a list of potential dentists to further evaluate. Here are some ways to find practitioners accepting new patients in your area:
- Search online directories like dentist St George to find contact information, credentials, location, accepted insurance plans, and patient reviews.
- Check with your insurance provider for an in-network list of local dentists. This can help maximize your benefits.
- Ask friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers for referrals to dentists they use and recommend.
- Inquire with your primary care physician or check with local hospitals for dentists affiliated with their practices.
- Look into community dental clinics that provide care on an income-based sliding scale if affordability is a concern.
- Search listings on the American Dental Association or state dental association websites.
Research Prospective Dentists
Once you have a list of potential dentists, the next step is researching them further before deciding who to schedule consultations with. Look for information on:
Make sure the dentist offers the services you need, whether it’s general preventive care, specialty procedures like oral surgery or orthodontics, or cosmetic treatments.
Costs and Insurance
Verify costs and insurance acceptance. Ask if they offer payment plans for larger treatments.
Location and Availability
Choose somewhere close to your home or workplace with office hours that accommodate your schedule.
Experience and Credentials
Search for information on their experience, education, certifications, and dental school training. Board-certified dentists complete extra qualifications.
Approach and Bedside Manner
Read reviews and testimonials to get a feel for the dentist’s chairside manner and how they make patients feel.
Once you have two or three promising candidates, schedule consultations. Most dentists offer free initial appointments for new patients to meet the dentist and ask questions. It’s a two-way interview where you can get a feel for the office environment and staff.
Some topics to ask about and factors to note:
- Are you comfortable talking with the dentist? Do they listen attentively and answer your questions thoroughly?
- Does the office appear clean, orderly, and run professionally?
- What safety protocols are in place for sterilization, infection control, and COVID-19?
- Are the staff friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable?
- How long does it take to get appointments and how far in advance do they book out for routine visits?
- What is the cancellation policy?
- Do they have emergency visit availability for established patients?
- What hospital are they affiliated with if you need a referral to an oral surgeon or specialist?
Choose the Best Dentist for You
After the consultations, reflect on your impressions, reviews, and how the dentists compare on key factors that matter to you. Choose the one you felt most comfortable with.
Establishing a long-term relationship with the right dentist pays dividends for your oral and overall health. Don’t hesitate to ask all the questions you need to make an informed decision.
The dentist you select should be someone you can trust for years to come. With a little research and care upfront, you can find the ideal St. George, Utah dentist to meet your needs.