10 Questions to Ask When Shopping Around for a Dentist - SmileMax 365 | Phoenix, Arizona

Would you let a high schooler perform an emergency surgery on you or let a toddler fix your brand-new Maserati?

Of course not.

When it comes to highly specialized trades, you’d find the person in your area who is most qualified to help you with whatever you need to get done.

Seems like common sense. However, when it comes to dental care, many patients simply seem to settle for whatever is convenient.

And, unfortunately, doing so puts many people in a situation where they don’t end up with the dental care experience they desire or deserve.

As a dentist and the owner of Smile Max 365, I don’t want any of my patients settling for mediocre dental care.

To ensure that you select a quality dental office that provides care options that are right for you, I’ve come up with a list of 10 questions I believe every patient should ask the potential dentist before committing to anything.

Check out the questions below…

#1 – What is your philosophy for dental care?

All dentists have different dental care philosophies.

My hope is that most providers will tell you they work hard to provide their patients with high-quality dental care and that their practice is founded on mutual trust, respect, communication, and understanding.

However, that’s not always the case.

Some dentists are more focused on getting as many patients in and out the door as possible so they can make more money.

Of course, it’s unlikely that a dentist would admit that out loud. However, if you ask a dentist what his philosophy is and he has a hard time answering you, that’s a good clue that he hasn’t given it much thought.

#2 – What materials do you use for caring for teeth in your practice?

There are tons of dental schools across the country. And every dental school varies slightly on what they teach their students.

For instance, cavities can be filled with various materials including plastics, composite resins, silver, and even a glass product known as glass ionomer.

While composite resins might be the most standard material for filling cavities, it’s possible for dentists to have varying opinions on what is best to use due to how they were trained.

Dentists even have varying opinions on what toothpaste brand to use and if your mouthwash should contain alcohol or not.

Be sure to have your dentist run your insurance benefits before you agree to dentures. Doing this will enable you to know what your costs will be before you make the investment.

The bottom line is this…talk with your potential dentist to get a better idea of what materials he/she uses on teeth. This may sway your decision of whether a dentist is the right match for you.

#3 – What type of payment plans/insurance options do you accept?

This is huge.

Dental work can be very expensive depending on what insurance plans your dental office accepts.

And if your potential dentist doesn’t have an option for accepting payment plans, you might find yourself in a bad situation when it comes time to have a procedure done.

Most dental offices accept the majority of major dental insurance company plans. And if you don’t have insurance, most dental offices will also be willing to help you work out a payment plan.

If your potential dentist is not interested in helping you make a plan in order to better care for your teeth, it’s probably a good clue that the office is not somewhere you want to get your dental services from.

At Smile Max 365, we go as far as offering FREE insurance help through our expert dental insurance team. To see what your insurance will cover at our office, give us a call at (602) 714-7232.

#4 – What type of continuing education have you had in the last year regarding dental care?

Certainly, a dentist needs to have graduated from dental school before he or she can legally work on your teeth.

But, did you know that dentists are also required to take part in continuing education programs as long as they want to keep their licenses active?

Some dentists only do the bare minimum to keep their license. And that’s not a problem as long as they are proficient in whatever dental service you need them for.

However, there are many dental professionals that go above and beyond to ensure their patients always receive the latest, top-of-the-line care.

Ask your potential dentist what training she is working/has worked on in the past year to gage how motivated she is to learn new things for her practice.

#5 – What is your schedule for routine dental care?

Most commonly, dentists will ask patients to come twice a year for routine cleanings and exams.

This is standard.

If your potential dentist recommends a different schedule, be sure to ask why.

#6 – Do you offer emergency dental care?

There’s nothing worse than cracking a tooth and having to wait for a dentist appointment to get it fixed.

That’s why many dental offices offer emergency dental care services that are available to patients on an as-needed emergency basis.

If the office you’re visiting doesn’t offer emergency dental care, don’t let that be a deal breaker. Chances are the dentist you’re seeing has connections emergency dental care providers they trust.

Ask for that information if they have it.

#7 – Do you specialize in pediatric dental care?

Believe it or not, not all dentists work on children’s teeth.

If you have a family and would like everyone in your household to visit the same dentist, this is an important question to ask.

#8 – Do you provide a comprehensive plan with included cost for your patients?

When you need 3 cavities filled, a potential root canal, and a crown all at one time, it’s a lot to take in.

That makes having a comprehensive dental plan that includes every procedure and its price very helpful.

Once again, this might not be a deal breaker for you. But, it is nice to know you can expect to receive a detailed plan that you can file away in your medical records before a procedure even takes place.

#9 – Do you use safe, updated equipment?

Remember back in the day when you had to wear that big, heavy vest while getting your x-rays done?

Now that I think of it, it’s possible that you still have to do that, even though there are newer, safer technologies available to dental offices.

Ask your dentist about his equipment and what’s been updated in his office.

You’d be surprised how many dentists continue to use old, outdated equipment to cut down on costs.

#10 – Question to ask yourself–Did the dentist seem to wholeheartedly listen to your concerns, provide you with valuable information, and take you seriously?

It’s so important that you feel as though any medical care provider you visit genuinely cares about your health and well-being.

If your initial appointment felt rushed, if you felt like you were being brushed off, and you don’t believe your potential dentist really cared about what you had to say, it’s a good idea to keep looking for the right fit for you.

If you’re looking for a new dentist, we’d love for you to stop by Smile Max 365 and check us out.

And, of course, we’ll be happy to answer all the questions you have regarding our practice and staff.

Our practice is open 7 days a week, and we’re always happy to welcome a new patient, so don’t wait. Give us a call at (602) 714-7232 to set up an appointment today!

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