Tips For Choosing A Dentist

Thursday March 29, 2012 by
Melissa Brown, DDS

One of the first things a person does for themselves or their family when they move to a new area is find quality healthcare providers. Sometimes it’s also necessary to change providers due to circumstances like changes in dental insurance coverage or employment.

At Murray Hill, we typically ask our new patients how they found out about us. Most people ask their family and friends if they have experience with or can personally recommend dentists in the area. We all like to know a little bit about an office before we just blindly make an appointment. After all, we are entrusting a staff with our oral health care needs. When it comes to quality care, a dentist’s reputation is one of the biggest factors in selecting an office for your new dental home. Pay special attention to any friends that have had an exceptionally good or poor experience with any one practitioner. If you hear the same thing more than once, it’s probably worth considering. When in doubt you can check out online reviews.

The other consideration when selecting a dentist is what range of services they offer. Are you looking for care for the entire family? Sedation dentistry? Dental implants? Cosmetic services? A general family dentist can provide a wide range of needs to every member of the family, no matter their age. If you want a place where you can have all of your routine dental therapy performed, then a family dental office is for you. Even if it may be years from now, if you’re thinking about a smile-makeover or dental implant, it may be wise to go ahead and build a rapport with the dentist that you would use to provide that care.

Private practices usually offer more unique services and care than chain-type dental offices. In a private practice the dentist can offer a wide variety of treatment options based on the patient’s needs and expectations. Payments are coordinated with dental insurance companies and the patient is presented options in choosing their treatment plan. Appointments may be more flexible to schedule and the dentist is typically on call over the weekend for dental emergencies. In a chain-style dental office, the dental staff is usually quite restricted on appointment time and they offer fewer services due to the discretion of their corporate management. Because they are not privately owned, the dentists also may not be available on nights or weekends should an emergency arise. However, chain-offices will usually take payment arrangements from plans like Medicaid or state funded health care plans.

As technology advances, it can be helpful to be part of an office that offers online appointment scheduling or electronic communications. Murray Hill Dental allows it’s existing or new patients to request an appointment time right through our website. We also help new patients save their valuable time by providing our new patient forms online so that they can be filled out ahead of time.

Advanced dental services like digital x-rays also reduce the time that is traditionally spent in a dental office. Digital x-rays are faster to process and expose patients to even less radiation than normal films. In the past the films had to be run through a chemical processing machine, which took several minutes. When a patient is in pain, minutes matter. Digital films allow almost immediate viewing for the dental practitioner. This means faster care and shorter time spent in the dental chair.

We at Murray Hill Dental would love to be your dental provider. Whether you’re an individual or a family, we invite you to contact us about your dental needs. Please feel free to explore our website and find out more information on the services we offer. We look forward to seeing you.