7 Questions to Ask Your Dentist on Your First Visit
It used to be that you would visit a dentist only when you had a toothache. Modern dental science has taught that regular checkups and cleanings to remove plaque can save you from ever getting toothaches in the first place. These days, Asheville dentists can save you all kinds of dental complications with regular bi-annual visits.
But you have to like your dentist and feel comfortable with the team. You want to be sure that your Asheville dental team respects your interests and is fully competent. To help you find the perfect Asheville dentist for you and your family, include the following questions in your initial interview:
- What is your area of expertise?
Many dentists specialize in certain fields ranging from cosmetics to implants to family dentistry. Look for an Asheville dentist with extensive experience in the areas that concern you most. If you’re looking for a generalist who can manage most every dental issue, consider his length of practice and any special certifications he carries. Ask about his associations and referral networks, in case you need a specialist in the future.
- How often do your require X-rays?
It is difficult to diagnose dental issues without X-rays, something akin to flying a plane at night without radar. At the same time, you may prefer not to be exposed to radiation at every visit. Some dentists make use of computerized X-rays that reduce the amount of radiation significantly. Ask your Asheville dentist to outline the benefits versus the risks, and tell you what kinds of X-rays his office relies on.
- How do you feel about whitening?
Whitening can make your teeth more sensitive, so it may not be an option for you depending on the health of your teeth. A dentist with extensive training in whitening and with access to the latest technologies can help you maintain your dental health while whitening. Your Asheville dentist can give you alternatives, such as at-home whitening kits, and monitor your use.
- I had a bad experience as a child; would you tell me how things have changed?
If you’ve not visited a dentist in a long time because you were afraid, discuss your specific concerns with your new dentist. He can answer your questions and reassure you. Ask about available sedatives, distractions the dentist’s team might offer, as well as tips to make sure you remain relaxed during your visit. Every good dentist wants you to be comfortable in his chair.
- Will you please provide me with references?
You may have seen testimonials on the dentist’s website, but it’s OK to ask for phone numbers of patients willing to speak to you about their experiences with this particular Asheville dentist. Also, request professional referrals. If your dentist cannot produce any professional references, run the other way because his peers obviously do not hold him in high regard.
- What kind of insurance and/or payment plans do you offer?
It is perfectly acceptable to talk about money with your dentist. He may refer you to his office manager, but don’t leave your initial appointment without clear answers to all your questions. Many successful dental practices, like Zöe Dental, have payment plans they are happy to discuss with you. A good, caring dentist finds ways for you to afford the best dental care.
- What are your hours?
Even the best, most likeable Asheville dentist won’t do you any good if his office hours are inconvenient for you and your family. Make sure that appointments can be made sufficiently in advance to leave you time for planning. Location is another aspect you should consider when looking for a family dentist; make sure the entire expedience as convenient as possible.
—The Zöe Dental Team