Social Dental Network

Posts Tagged ‘dental insurance’

Top 5 Questions to Ask in Your Search for a New Dentist – Part Deux

In Dental Care on September 22, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Searching for a new dentist can be prompted by lots of variables, depending on where we’re at in life.

For some of us, moving to a new town or city has us again on the search for a trusted, reliable, and professional dental practice. Others simply have had it up to you know where with their current not so trusted, reliable, or professional dentist. top_5_questions_to_ask_when_searching_for a_new_dentist

We hope that’s not the case with anyone reading this socially sharing local dentistry blog post.

Some people go on the search for a cosmetic dentist that specializes in divorcee smile makeovers.

Some seek a doctor well known for placing dental implants, and surely some of us look for a dental practice that accepts our insurance.

Whatever the prerequisites are in your personal dental search, we thought it fitting to bring you Part II of the top 5 questions you can ask in your search for a qualified, reputable, and socially communicative dental practice.

Being socially communicative is important to you, right?

What’s a dental practice these days if they’re not on Facebook?

top_5_questions_to_ask_when_searching_for_a_new_dentistSee if these questions jibe with real life experience in your quest for a social local dentist.

What sort of advanced continuing educational opportunities does the practice take part in, above and beyond any state requirements?

With technology advancing faster than we can keep pace a lot of times, it’s important to know what kind of continuing education policies exist at our chosen dental practice.

Our new dentist’s responsibility to continuing education is a good indicator of their commitment to our surrounding community. State requirements differ, and amassing umpteen thousand hours of continuing education may not leave enough time to actually practice dentistry.

Balance should be the goal, a regular schedule of yearly continuing education, backed up by practical application in the dental office often times equates to happy dental patients.

By asking the questions that matter we can best determine an easily navigable course of dental health for our families.

Do you have patient testimonials to review? top_5_questions_to_ask_when_searching_for_a_new_dentist

Word of mouth has gone digital, but how can we be sure that gleaming (or scathing) review of our newly chosen dentist is accurate?

Ask the practice if they have any testimonials from existing patients, peer experience can be the make or break point when choosing a new dentist.

Credentials, location, and continuing education are important factors, but the words of someone who has sat in the chair offer a peek into our future dental experience.

Beware of the dental practice that has zero existing patient testimonials to review, it either means they don’t care enough to communicate with their patients, or nobody has anything good to say.

A word about online reviews – please consider the validity of online reviews when searching for a new dentist.

Some can be helpful and 100% legitimate, and some can be totally fake – online reviews can be good indicators, but just make sure they are only part of your decision-making process, not the be all end all.

Do you take my dental insurance?

With the economy being what it is presently, financial considerations often take the place of quality of treatment.

We shouldn’t make the mistake of trading a substandard “in network” dental practice with that of a fee for service dental practice just because they don’t take our insurance.

Most practices (and insurance providers) offer some type of middle ground; whether it’s no-interest financing or reduced fees for “out of network” providers, there are options available to new dental patients.

We need to start with our insurance provider and narrow down the search.

If we find a dentist that doesn’t accept our insurance, but we’ve heard great things from friends, open the dialogue with the practice, surely they have financial options available to best serve their surrounding community.

And if not, there is another practice out there that does…we just have to search a little more.

But isn’t our health, and that of our families, worth it?

top_5_questions_to_ask_when_searching_for_a_new_dentistWhile the majority of us will never come across someone practicing dentistry without a license, that doesn’t mean all dental practices are equal when it comes to serving their patients.

The list above is a starting point in our search for a good dentist.

We all want a dentist that is an upstanding member of the community, respectful of patient communication, and the leader of an engaging and informative staff.

If you have a dental health question that we haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment and let us know!

In case you missed Part I of this most social of dentistry series, you can see what other questions we recommend asking on your journey – Top 5 Questions to Ask When Searching for a New Dentist – Part I.

Top 5 Questions to Ask in Your Search for a New Dentist – Part 1

In Dental Care on September 15, 2011 at 4:30 AM

According to, dental patients in the United Kingdom are most in the dark about dental implants and crown & bridges, when it comes to dentistry.

That’s across the pond…how about here in the States?

A now not so recent story out of North Carolina and a very recent conversation with a neighbor, inspired some editing and republishing of this inquisitive social dental blog post.

Seems there was a dental interloper out there in NC, practicing dentistry without an actual license. top 5 questions to ask in your search for a new dentist

This kind of thing actually streams across the dental big board more than you’d think, and it again promoted the soul-searching social dentistry question, how can we be sure our newly chosen dentist is legit?

When we go looking for a new dentist, most often we turn to family and friends for a trusted personal referral.

When those opportunities aren’t available we usually take to the Internet for a quick search of dental practices in our immediate area.

That’s when the fun begins.

It seems like we go on a never-ending quest, reading online patient reviews, researching any potential warning signs, and matching our insurance providers, all to find a personable and professional dentist to trust with our family oral health needs.

With almost every dental practice having an Internet presence these days, how can we be sure our chosen dentist best fits our location, dental health care needs, and personalities?

Social Dental Network has amassed the Top 5 questions we should ask our prospective new dentist, please feel free to add your own questions – and be sure to let us know so we can update the list.

How long has the practice been at this location, and how long has the dentist been in practice?

OK, that’s two questions in one but nobody pays attention to ‘Top 6’ lists.

If our prospective new dentist is not in a convenient location, to either work or home, we’ll most likely choose a dentist that is.

Convenience never goes out of style, and there are plenty of excuses out there to skip our dental appointments altogether. But, we need to be realistic when choosing a new dentist, and experience often tops our list of prerequisites when choosing a new family dentist.

We all want a dentist that is both an experienced upstanding member of the local community, and at the cutting edge of health care technology.

A good chair-side manner doesn’t hurt either.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the new dental practice down the street with the wet-behind-the-ears tooth jockey, complete with all the techno tools of today, isn’t a good choice.

Just consider experience and location in your quest for a new dentist.

By simply asking the questions you may learn a lot more about the practice, and that could make the difference in your decision.

Also – a trusted staff that has been with the practice for some time is generally more preferable than a transient, high turnover practice.

If the staff can’t manage to stay at the practice long, how do you think you’ll fare?

Is there any particular practice area of expertise outside of general dentistry?

Sure, a 2 hour drive for a 30 minute check-up seems crazy, but what if nobody in your area offers clear braces, or I.V. sedation, or possesses the technical and practical knowledge necessary to fit you with a brand new set of dental implants?

Location matters, but sometimes we’ll go to the ends of the Earth to get what we want, especially if we’re talking a specialized area of dentistry.

For dental procedures such as sedation, cosmetics, dental implants, and oral surgery for instance, dental patients have been known to travel hours or even out-of-state to see a trusted dental professional for such procedures.

Maybe we wouldn’t want to travel 2 hours for a check-up, but we may consider the journey for a complete smile makeover.

Ask the dentist, or the scheduling coordinator, if there are any specialized areas of focus within the practice.

Do they offer any traditional orthodontics, how about clear braces?

What types of pain management does the practice offer?

How many (veneers, sedation, extractions…etc.) cases has the doctor performed in the past year?

You got us, more questions – but really, who’s counting…never mind reading at this point?

Tune in next week for Part Two of the Top 5 Questions to Ask in Your Search for a New Dentist.

Man Bites Dog!

In Dental Care on August 11, 2011 at 4:30 AM

With the economy in the tank and the stock market exhibiting more volatility than a Philadelphia sporting event, we bring you this financial examination of how we can actually save money by going to the dentist.

And according to this recent story from The Boston Herald, our canine friends can even benefit from regular dental cleanings and oral examinations.

For most of us, when it comes to dental insurance, the average coverage amounts provided are usually just enough to cover costs of our regular thrice yearly office visits. A typical exam, oral cancer screening, tartar or calculus scraping, followed by a visibly effective cleaning and polish, usually does the trick to keep our teeth happy and healthy until our next semi-annual dental experience.

That is IF we’ve kept up those regular visits, and IF we maintain the daily brushing and flossing regimen that some of us severely violate – at least on the flossing end.

Most of us can rest easy knowing our dental insurance pretty much covers all those normal costs associated with a typical 4 or 6 month check-up and exam rotation.

The key to saving money by properly maintaining optimal oral health comes down to two basic elements.

1.       Keep up with the regular dental appointments – whether you’re of the every 6 month group, or the heavy coffee indulging, dentally over-achieving every 4 month group.

Keep the appointments. Keep your teeth and gums healthy. Keep more hard-earned money in your pocket!

2.       Brush and floss between visits – does this one really need to be said, we’ve all been beaten over the head with this one…but some of us just remain dentally stubborn until we realize the folly of our ways.

And that folly usually costs us more in time and finances than if we simply did the right thing to begin with.

The underlying principle here that equally applies to dental health as it does to finances – at least in this blog post – is this;

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – thanks Ben Franklin

Properly maintaining the daily brushing and flossing in combination with keeping the regular dental appointments will ultimately save us more money than not going to the dentist at all.

This holds true for dogs as it does for dentally irresponsible humans!

We can be stubborn, irresponsible, and forgetful; we as humans have the ability to reason.