What to Look for in a College Station DentistPublished by Cashion Dental on February 5, 2016
Your teeth are a valuable and irreplaceable possession that you want to protect, and the same can be said of the teeth of your family members. Getting a minimum of two dental check-ups per year, having a trusted expert to turn to for remedial, preventative, and emergency dental care, and knowing to whom to direct questions and concerns you may have about your teeth are all critical.
Finding the best possible dental office in your area, however, is not always an easy task. There are often many dentists to choose from, and they likely all claim to be the best. To find which choice is best for you, it will take a little research and some thoughtful comparison.
When looking for a new dentist and comparing your options, there are a number of important factors to consider, including the following:
1. Location and Ease of Scheduling
One basic but essential qualification is that the dental office be reasonably close to your home or your place of work, so you save on time and gas getting there and back. It will also make it easier to schedule appointments and always arrive on time since less of the day is consumed by the trip.
Additionally, you want a dentist who makes it quick and simple to schedule a check-up or cleaning and who has a way of quickly dealing with dental emergencies. Find out how far in advance you need to make appointments and if the dentist can make arrangements with another office or an emergency referral service should he or she be unable to immediately attend to an emergency situation.
2. Education and Affiliation
A solid formal education in modern dentistry, culminating in a DDS (doctor of dental surgery) degree, and membership in such prestigious dental groups as the American Dental Association (ADA), the Texas Dental Association, and the Brazos Valley District Dental Society mean much more than a name and a piece of paper to hang on the wall. Coupled with hands-on experience and on-going educational pursuits, these kinds of credentials are indicative of a highly trained, hard-working dentist.
You will also want to verify that your dentist is licensed by the state of Texas. This can easily be done by contacting the dental society most local to your area, which you can identify on the ADA website, or by checking with many area insurance companies that cover dental work.
3. Reputation and Referrals
The ADA and BBB may be able to inform you of any disciplinary actions or complaints registered against a dentist, but you can also look for reviews online on such websites as Angie’s List. Just be sure to read more than one review, at least one positive and one negative, and to read with a discerning eye since some online reviews are invented by competitors to tarnish a perfectly good dentist’s reputation.
Another route is to look for referrals from family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and neighbors. If you are moving, you can also ask your current dentist for a recommendation. Ask your “informant” such questions as:
- How hard is it to make an appointment?
- How are emergencies handled?
- How much time do you typically spend in the waiting room?
- How are the bills processed?
- Is financing offered?
- Are most insurance policies accepted?
- How well does the dentist explain your options?
4. Services and Equipment
Make a list of all the dental services you believe you or your family may eventually have need of, such as fillings, crowns, extractions, braces, bridges, dentures, root canals, implants, smile makeovers, and teeth whitening. Of course, you hope you will never need more than a routine check-up and cleaning, but you don’t want to have to search for a new dentist every time a less-then-routine problem arises. Look for a dentist with a reasonably wide skill-set.
Superior equipment (and accompanying know-how) will make any of the services offered by a dentists more convenient and pleasant to his/her patients. Look for Invisalign invisible braces, custom-designed dentures, porcelain crowns, tooth-colored veneers, digital X-rays, and intra-oral cameras that let you view your own teeth on a screen near the dental chair. Also ask about oral sedation pills and availability of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to kill the pain without causing any harm.
5. Patience with Patients
You certainly want a dentist and dental staff that is friendly and accommodating. When you are considering a treatment option, you should not feel you are being “pushed into it,” and your dentist should patiently explain to you how the process works and what to expect. Removable bridges, permanent bridges, and dental implants, for example, all can solve the problem of a missing tooth, but each method has its own pros and cons. It is important to have a source of trusted information that can help you make an informed decision- the one that is right for you.
6. Accommodating Special Needs
Patients who are disabled or otherwise in need of special accommodation during dental visits should follow the ADA’s advice for finding a dentist:
- Make sure the facility is accessible to you
- Find out if the dentist has any training or experience with other patients with your condition
- Call the Special Care Dentistry Association at 312-527-6764 for help in finding the right dentist
7. Financing and Insurance
Find out if your dentist accepts your dental insurance and if he or she can make referrals to specialists where your insurance plan requires it. Also get estimates on common procedures like fillings and crowns, see if financing is available if you need it, and ask if multiple payment methods are accepted, such as cash, personal check, and credit card.
Cashion Dental is a cutting-edge dental office with all of the latest, high-tech equipment and a clean, orderly environment. Dr. Cashion is a College Station dentist with full educational credentials and affiliation with multiple dental societies. His staff is friendly and helpful; ready to answer your every question and address your every concern. Contact Cashion Dental today to inquire further or to schedule a free initial consultation.