Things to Consider While Choosing a Family Dentist
Have you recently moved to the Houston area and need to find a new dentist? Moving is stressful enough; don’t let finding a new dentist overwhelm you. Here a few questions to consider as you search for a provider that offers family dentistry in Houston, TX.
What Do You Find on the Internet
Before you make any phone calls, do as much research online as possible. Most dental offices have a website where they list their location, hours, and services provided. Many showcase staff with a photo and short biography. They’ll probably have a few testimonials of patients who are happy with their services. You should also be able to find reviews online that indicate what other patients experience when visiting this provider. There is a caveat to online reviews. Don’t make a decision based solely on reviews you read online. Each person has their own needs and expectations. A person who writes a negative review may have experience more pain than anticipated. Or, maybe they had a payment issue that upset them. A visit to the office and time to meet the staff is a better indicator of whether this is the right dentist for you and your family.
Does the Office Welcome Children
Just because a dental practice advertises that they offer family dentistry doesn’t mean they’re kid-friendly. If you have small children, you already know that visiting the dentist can be a frightening experience. Take time to get a feel for how the office as a whole approaches children. When you visit, is there a fun play area for children? This is important because if children can spend a few minutes engaged with interesting toys and books, it helps them relax. A calm, relaxed child tends to do better once they are in the dental chair. You also want to make sure the dentist and staff have patience with children. They should be willing to take time to explain procedures and allow kids to ask questions.
Do They Offer Comprehensive Care
If you have a family, or already know you have specific dental needs, make sure the dentist you choose can offer all of the treatments you’ll require. Do they go beyond general dental care and offer teeth whitening services? Does the practice take care of orthodontic treatments? Many providers have a well-rounded staff that includes dentists who specialize in things like periodontics, which is the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. They may have an oral surgeon on staff. It’s important to know in advance if you’ll be able to take care of your appointments in one location, especially if you work and have other family activities to manage.
Are They Available for Emergencies
How does the office handle dental emergencies? Dental issues can grow into emergencies quickly and the worst time for that to happen is on a weekend, or after office hours. You need to know how to reach your dentist in case you have an emergency. The dental office should have an answering service that can contact your dentist when you have a serious problem.
What Are Payment Expectations
You certainly want to understand the financial expectations of the dental practice before making your first appointment. If you have a dental insurance plan, make sure the provider accepts it. Not all dentists work with every insurance plan. Most practices that offer family dentistry in Houston, TX, work with patients who don’t have dental insurance. Make sure you ask for specifics about when payment is due. Do they accept checks and credit/debit cards? Ask if the provider offers a payment plan. Understanding payment expectations creates less stress for you and the dental staff who work at the front desk.