10 Questions to Ask Your College Station DentistPublished by Cashion Dental on January 28, 2016
If you have just moved into College Station, Texas, are planning to move there soon, have lived in the area for some time without choosing a dentist, or are interested in switching to a new dentist, you have good reason to stop and consider for a moment some key questions to ask in determining which dentist is right for you. It is generally best to first find a College Station dentist who is a general practitioner and then use him/her as a guide in locating any specialty practices you may have need of, but any qualified dentist will have at least a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and/or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree.
Finding a good dentist is a prize well worth the effort of some preliminary preparations; it is well worth the time involved in thinking through and writing out a short questionnaire to take with you to the initial interview. The fact is that your family’s oral health, both teeth and gums, is both important in itself and is connected to overall health and wellness. Recent studies have confirmed that chronic oral infections; besides interfering with normal speaking, chewing, and swallowing, can contribute to such things as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems.
To help you in selecting a dentist who will take good care of your teeth and gums and who will treat you with respect and courtesy, we list below 10 questions to ask a dentist before you decide to give him/her the privilege of becoming your dentist:
1. Can I Schedule an In-Depth Interview? If a dental practice does not provide for or allow serious interviews with prospective clients, it is a signal to look for a different dentist. The dentist and his or her staff should be friendly, courteous, and more than happy to answer all of your questions.
2. What Is Your Philosophy of Dentistry? The dentist’s answer to this question should reveal that he takes the time to explain dental procedures to his patients so they can learn their options and make informed decisions. You should hear that offered care will be centered on patients’ needs, and you should then ask to see some before-and-after pictures so you can view the end-results of the dentist’s philosophy of care.
3. What Kinds of Dental Treatment Do You Offer? Look for a wide range of services, from routine check-ups and teeth cleanings to advanced treatments like root canals and dental implants. Note whether or not “high-tech” dental products like same-day crowns and invisible braces are part of the dentist’s repertoire. You may not need many procedures at the present, but you want to know your dentist can handle your future needs as well as those of your whole family.
4. Do You Take Any Continuing Education Courses? Texas and all other states require dentists to engage in a certain amount of continuing education to retain a license, but many dentists go beyond the minimum requirements and stay on top of all the latest advances in the field. At this point, you might also want to ask about the dentist’s degree, how many years of experience he or she has, and if he or she is a member of any state and/or national dental societies.
5. What Infection Control Procedures Do You Follow? OSHA requires dentists to follow basic infection control procedures such as wearing masks and gloves and regularly sterilizing all dental equipment. You want a quick answer here that indicates the dentist is familiar with the guidelines because he has been practicing them.
6. How Does Your Practice Interact With General Health Issues? Your dentist should ask for a comprehensive medical history before treating you, should be concerned about allergies, and guard against the possibility of negative drug interactions/intolerances.
7. What About Oral Cancer Screening? Your dentist should be concerned with total oral health rather than teeth only, and periodic oral cancer screening is one way that this concern can be demonstrated. You should go on to ask about how oral health is handled in general.
8. What Do You Check For in an Initial Exam? You should hear that gum disease, tooth decay, missing/damaged teeth, bone loss, misalignment, and a proper bite are all checked for. The dentist should be using a periodontal probe and other advanced equipment during the exam.
9. When Are You Available? Find out about availability on weekends, evenings, holidays, and for emergencies. Make sure the office is located near your home or workplace so travel time is minimized, and expect the initial appointment to be within 2 or 3 weeks at most.
10. What About Finances? You want to ask about the charges for treatments, anesthesia, and processing long before you are in need of care so you are not surprised at the last minute. Ask about in-house financing, what insurance is accepted, and any discounts that might sometimes be available. Don’t be embarrassed to ask about the financial aspect. Your dentist should understand and not mind explaining what forms of payment are accepted and how much of the cost will likely be deferred by your insurance plan.
While initial research online and elsewhere will help you to form a search-list to work off of as you go out to look for a new dentist, you also need to be prepared when you step into the office for an interview. Making your concerns explicit through concrete questions will help you to make the most out of the initial visit.
At Cashion Dental, we offer you a full range of services, including all the most up-to-date methods, and we strive to always serve every customer the way we ourselves would want to be served. We always courteously explain to you your options in a no-pressure manner, and we will be more than happy to answer all your questions. Feel free to call us today at 979-693-6723, fill out our online request form, or visit our office in-person at 4056 Texas Highway 6, South College Station.