Anytime you pick a health practitioner, it is an important decision. This person is going to know some of the most intimate details about you. They will be working on your body, which is very important to you. You may not even know where to begin on how to make this choice. Let’s look at eight tips on how to pick the best dentist in Leawood, KS to fit your needs.
1) Will your health insurance cover your dentist?
Before you get too far into your search, check to see which dentists your health insurance plan will cover. It would be terrible for you to do all this research, find a dentist that you think is perfect, and then find out your plan considers that dentist out of network. All health insurance providers are more than happy to direct you to in-network healthcare providers. You can usually access that information on the members-only side of your providers’ website.
2) Is your dentist of choice convenient to your home/work/school?
We are all busy people! Any medical practitioner we use needs to be convenient to some other part of our life. Think about the distance from your home/work/school when picking your dentist. If you like appointments in the AM, you may want a dentist that is close to your home or office. If you live in a highly congested area, look for dentists that won’t require you to travel very far or for very long. If you don’t mind driving and your schedule offers you that flexibility, then this won’t necessarily apply to you. But for those who want all their services close together, this point could be a factor in their choice.
3) What are the office policies?
Every office has the right the set whatever policies they want. They are well within their rights to charge you for missing an appointment, requiring notification of cancelation within a designated timeframe, and a whole host of other things. Dentists are allowed to set those policies, and you are just as welcome to dislike their policies. Read through the website of the dentist you are considering and see what their policies are. If you don’t see them, contact the office to inquire. If they have policies you don’t like, don’t ask to be seen at this office.
4) What technology is used in this office?
Dental technology has come a long way, and quickly. It wasn’t all that long ago x-rays were still pictures, and now they can be done digitally on a computer. Cleanings utilize water to minimize discomfort during the procedure. Fillings now can match the color of your tooth. Technology has helped the field of dentistry enormously. However, not every dentist has adapted with the times. Some are still using outdated technologies simply because that is what they are more comfortable with. If a dentist using the most current technology is important to you, learn what technology the dentist uses before booking your appointment.
5) What treatments are offered at this office?
Similar to the point above, technology has moved very quickly in the field of dentistry. That same technology has also helped improve existing treatments and develop new ones. But much like the advances in technology, not every dentist has adapted to updated procedures. Some don’t see the need to learn new techniques when the ones they know have worked well for many years. So they continue to practice using the older treatment styles. They may also not feel the need to add newer treatments like Invisalign or whitening treatments. This once again becomes something that only you can decide. If you aren’t worried about your dentist using the most up to date treatment methods, then this won’t both you at all. If you want your dentist on the cutting edge, you may find this inability to adapt troubling.
6) Where did the dentist do their training?
For some individuals, they are more concerned about if their future dentist has received any citations from the state board or other licensing authorities. Some are concerned with how many additional certifications their prospective dentist has. And others are very interested in where the dentist received their degree from. No matter what point means the most to you, your dentist and their office should gladly share with you where to find that information. Citations are harder to find, but all other information should be on their website.
7) What amenities does the office offer their patients?
As with everything, what a patient wants out of an office is a personal choice. Some individuals want a minimalist office with a skilled dentist, and that is it. They are not interested in the latest technology or state-of-the-art treatments. They most certainly don’t want an office that offers patients bottled water, fancy goodie bags, or Netflix. For others, this is a make-or-break detail. Most of this will be evident from the website, but when in doubt, reach out to the office and see what they offer their patients during procedures.
8) Can anyone you know recommend a dentist?
Probably one of the best ways to find a dentist is through your friends and acquaintances. Ask who they use, and who they have heard is good. This, at least, gives you a list of names to start with and research. While the internet can help us greatly, nothing is better than a referral from a friend.
Choosing a dentist is an important decision. That person will be up close and personal with you. It is important that you do your research and find one that meets what you need. If you want cutting edge technology and all the bells and whistles, make sure you find an office that offers that. If you want something more minimal, there are offices that provide that for patients too. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your dentist, and you trust them with your dental health. That is the basis of an excellent doctor/patient relationship.