Choosing a dentist can be a very stressful proposition. They are a very important partner in your overall care and you must feel comfortable right from the start. So, how do you accomplish this? You must treat your search like a job interview. Before beginning the “interview process” here are some suggestions to help you narrow down the field of dentistry.
First, is word-of-mouth. Pardon the pun. Ask family, friends and even coworkers if they have any recommendations for your search. If they are all having the same problem you can also ask your family doctor or local pharmacist. If this does not give you the desired results you are looking for you can also contact your local or state dental society. They can provide you with a list put together by the ADA that can be found on the website, www.ada.org.
Now that you have your list of potential Staten Island dentists there are specific questions you should ask them before you make your final decision. In order to feel comfortable with your dentist they must also be convenient for you and your schedule. So the first logical question is to ask what their office hours are and if their location is convenient to your work location and home. This may not seem crucial now, but it would become a factor if you ever had a dental emergency.
Now, let the interview questions begin which is the most important part of finding a dentist. Where were they educated and trained and what is their specific approach to preventive dentistry? You can also get a feeling of how dedicated to their profession they are by asking them how often they attend conferences and continuing education workshops. If you are very anxious at dentist appointments the next question should be what type of anesthesia they are certified to administer during your dental appointments if you need to feel more relaxed and comfortable during certain treatments. And lastly, it is important to ask how they deal with emergency situations that occur outside of office hours. If they do not have arrangements with a colleague or emergency referral service it is best to continue with your search. The next question to ask is how payment is arranged and what dental health plans they work with.
You may think that having this many questions for your potential choice may be too stressful and uncomfortable for you to accomplish. But, think about the alternative. If you go into their office uneducated about the person who is about to treat you, you may be sorry in the long run. Having the “interview” with the dentist will not only put you at ease once you make your final decision, but it will also put you at ease when you make your first appointment and lay back in that dental chair, eliminating much of the stress that comes with dental appointments. The dentist is sure to appreciate all of the thought you have put into your choice as well. If you do not get that feeling from them, then they are not the dentist for you and your search must continue. Good luck. Following these steps will bring you years of happy and healthy smiles.