Selecting a Dentist (Part 1)
Many people use blogs as a way to get to know a dentist. If you’re new to the Jacksonville area and are visiting this page as part of your search, we want to say: “Welcome!”
We also want to help you. Below is a checklist of questions you should consider before selecting a dentist in your new locale. This post focuses on points to consider before ever stepping into the office. Next time, we’ll focus on issues surrounding the initial visit and meeting with the dentist.
Referrals and Qualifications
With the wealth of resources at your fingertips, you can narrow your search in a hurry. Here are some good places to start:
Insurance Companies: their in-network referral often means that you will pay less out of pocket.
Current Caregiver Recommendations: Ask around to see if your family doctor or dentist knows of any dentists in your new area. Sometimes, a personal referral can get you into an office that is otherwise not taking on new clients.
Social Network Reviews: Visit yelp.com, the office’s Google listing, and its Facebook page. Angie’s List is another excellent review resource, but it is a paid service.
Qualifications: What associations is the dentist a member of? Does he/she participate on certification boards, conference panels, or teaching staffs? Does he or she publish in scientific journals?
Availability & Accessibility
Dentist offices hold different hours. Some have weekend availability. Some close for lunch. Some don’t offer emergency dentistry. Finding the office with the right hours for your schedule should be a top priority.
Getting to the office is another important point. Is the office too far away from the house, work, and/or school? Is parking an issue? Are there ways to get there via public transportation?
Visit the practice’s website and see if you like what you see. Then, give their front office a call. Did you find them friendly and accommodating? Did you get placed on hold for too long? Getting a feel for the office’s communication style with a pre-visit phone call is a great way to narrow your options without making big time commitments.
If You’re New to Jacksonville
We hope this article helps your search for a Jacksonville dentist. If you are new to the area, we’d love to be your local dentist office. Check out our 10 Reasons to Choose Us page to find out how we stand out from other dentists. Please call us at 904-384-4391 or visit www.drrittenberg.com to get insight on all the issues raised in this article or to book your first visit.
Next time, we’ll list the important things to look for during your initial visit and meeting with the office staff.