Selecting a dentist is different from selecting a home or a car. In many ways, it’s more important. Emotionally speaking, you will place your faith and trust in the dentist you select for your family, and you need to know that your decision will be rewarding long term. Logistically, your family requires a dentist office that offers the services you require, a convenient location, and hours compatible with your family’s schedule.
This questionnaire will help you thoughtfully consider some of the attributes you desire in the ideal general dentist.
What are the ages of your family members, and what are their foreseeable dental needs?
- In most cases, dental patients select dentists who are in a similar age range, if available. If you have a young family, you might be best served by a dentist who is also in the parenting phase of his life. If you’ve retired from the workplace, perhaps you’d like a dentist at the end of his working years. The empathy and understanding between dentist and patient is important for a healthy, rewarding doctor-patient relationship.
- Be sure to ask your candidate dentists if children are welcome, if they are open to seeing full families, or if they have a specialty service area.
- What procedures will your family need over the next decade? A general dentist can provide checkups, cleanings, and restorations. However, will your children need braces? Will you need new bridgework or dental implants? Might cosmetic dentistry help your career?
How will you pay for dental care, and do you need financing?
- Not all dentists accept insurance. If you will rely in part on dental insurance, be sure to ask whether your candidate dentist will file on your behalf. What will your out-of-pocket expenses be?
- Make sure that your potential dentist accepts your credit card or offers financing, should you require big dental procedures down the road.
- Is phased dental care an option? If you need extensive dental work, will the dentist create a treatment plan with phases so that it suits your schedule and budget?
What location and office hours will be convenient for your family?
- In most cases, patients travel up to 12-20 miles to visit their dentist. This distance is shorter in urban areas. Consider when you’ll schedule dental visits – during the day, in the evening, on the weekend. Would an office near your home, work, or children’s school be convenient?
What personality type do you appreciate in a dentist?
- Dentists come in all shapes and sizes, and with widely varying personalities! What type of person would you feel most comfortable with? Do you feel more comfortable with a casual, humorous dentist, or do you prefer professionals with a more serious, soft-spoken approach? You may not know the answer to this question. However, you’ll know it when you experience it!
Schedule a Meeting!
You probably won’t know whether you really like a dental office until you visit. At Grinnell Street Dental, we invite potential patients to schedule a tour and meeting with our team. As a family of dentists, Drs. Donald, Cody, and Justin Coon enjoy providing warm, comforting care to people of all ages. Call us, interview us, and meet us. We’d be honored to become your family’s dentist!