Dental health is an important aspect of our overall mental and physical health. Finding a Dental provider you can build a good doctor/patient relationship depends on the vital questions you should ask a new Dentist.
Prior to your first dental visit, prepare a few questions that will insure you have made the right decision for you and your family.
1. “How long have you been in practice?”
This question will allow you a bit of knowledge regarding the experience of your new Dentist. You will be a good judge of his/her age so it is not necessary to ask this question. The length of time he/she has been in practice will give you confidence in their ability. A young new Dentist will have innovative ideas and bring energy to his/her practice. An older, more experienced Dentist will instill confidence. For each individual, personal preference will decide which will suit your dental needs.
2. “Do you accept my insurance?”
This question is one you should ask prior to making your first dental appointment. The office staff will be knowledgeable of this and knowing this in advance will save you time and money.
3. “What type of anesthetic to you use?”
Local anesthesia- This anesthesia is injected into a specific area in your mouth to numb the area that is to be treated. Often the Dentist will use a topical anesthetic prior to the injection. Ask your Dentist if this option is available to you.
Oral sedation- If you are a person with high dental anxiety, you will want to know in advance of any dental treatment if your Dentist uses oral sedation, such as nitrous oxide. This would serve as an anti-anxiety medication and help you relax during the dental procedure. You will want to ask the risks associated with this type of anesthetic.
General Anesthesia- Complicated dental treatment may require a general anesthetic. Dental specialists, such as an Oral surgeon, use this type of anesthesia.
Always ask your Dentists the risks or side effects you may have following a procedure-using anesthetic. Your Dentist will ask you about your medical history prior to a dental procedure. Good communication between you will ensure your comfort and confidence.
4. “What will I incur as my out-of-pocket expense?”
This question will allow you to have an open conversation with your provider regarding the expenses you will occur. If finances are an issue, this is a good time to ask if there is an alternative treatment if the cost is an issue. You may be referred to his/her office staff regarding financing or payment arrangements. Regardless, you need to be aware of the costs prior to treatment so there is no misunderstanding.
5. “What is your infection control policy?”
Your Dentist will be happy to explain the infection control policy that his/her staff practice.
These are a few, important questions you should be prepared to ask a new Dentist. As you build a relationship with your provider, you will feel comfortable asking further questions regarding your dental treatment. If you are ever in doubt about the treatment plan, do not hesitate to seek a second opinion. A good dental professional will encourage you to do so and feel confident you will return to him/her for your dental care.