December 2, 2019
When you need a dentist, most will think to themselves, “I need a dentist near me.” This makes it convenient for dental emergencies AND future dental care. But how do you find a dentist that treats you the way that you want to be treated?
Ask Friends for a Dentist Near Me
This might seem like the best method, and if you have rarely ever needed dental care and are healthy, then this might work out well. But…. There is a strong possibility that things are not as good as you assumed. An extremely common approach to dental disease to wait for treatment to be large enough to be profitable. The common phrase the dentist will say is, “Let’s watch that…” Watch it do what? Get bigger? Hurt? Break?
If your dentist has “approval addiction” then you may have a false sense of security. If your mouth is full of early stage decay or fillings/restorations and each time you get your teeth cleaned your dentist says “everything is fine”, then your NEXT dentist will look like the “bad guy” when they tell you what is going on. It may not MEAN treatment, but there may be a suggestion. Ultimately, WHEN to treat is up to the patient.
So, should you ask a co worker? Sure, but take the advice with a grain of salt.
Does the dentist take my insurance?
This is the tricky part. EVERY dentist works with insurance in SOME capacity. If a dentist is “in network”, then they have agreed to discount their fees in exchange for patients to be directed their direction. It is expensive marketing. There is no “qualifying” or “screening” done, other than making sure the dentist has an active license.
While you might save money by going to an in-network dentist, you need to accept that there are treatments that you simply will not be offered or given a referral for. If you are relatively healthy, this means very little, but if you have a lot of needs, in-network dentists are likely not the best choice. The costs for care will exceed the insurance benefits quickly, so the costs are mostly yours anyway.
Now, I DID say that EVERY dentist works with insurance. I’m not lying. Some insurances make it harder to work with if you are not IN network, but even dental offices that are 100% cash only will STILL help you fill out/complete the paperwork to file claims. In an office like this, you must consider any insurance benefit like a rebate check. You will pay for your care completely and then within weeks, your check from the insurance company will come to you in the mail.
Having said all that, there ARE insurance companies that will ONLY pay specific offices, and seeing an outside dentist will void any benefits. This is called capitation or HMO care. That is a topic for an entirely different post…. Safe to say, offices like this are giving ONLY the most BASIC level of care.
Google search for a dentist
Probably the best way to find a dentist near me is google (the internet). It isn’t always the easiest (some websites are VERY pretty, but the dentist/office is NOT in real life….). This allows you to search for a dentist based on WHY. Is it JUST because the dentist is near me, or are there specific needs? Did your last dentist retire and you just want a dental home? Do you have complex treatment that your current dentist CAN’T do?
A well done website will contain the services offered by the dentist, a way to contact (phone number, address, link to a map to find your way, etc). If you find a dentist that is in an acceptable location and offers the services you desire, then the next step is a records appointment and examination. Once your new dentist understands you and your goals, you can start the path to the level of dental health that you desire.