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Four things to look for in a dentist 
Updated: 3/7/2013 11:14:59 AM
 

Four things to look for in a dentist

People who don't have a regular dentist should get one as soon as possible. Individuals who feel comfortable with their dentist and have a good relationship with him or her may be more likely to go the recommended two times a year for their bi-annual cleanings, which is a crucial part of any proper dental health routine. While many people live in areas where there is only one or a few dentists, some individuals are lucky enough to live in areas that are packed with dental care professionals. 

While it's great to have so many options, it may be difficult for some people to choose a dentist who will suit their particular needs. Luckily, there are some ways to help determine which dentists are worth their fees, and which ones should be skipped over. 

1. One that accepts a discount dental plan - When choosing a dentist, individuals first need to make sure that he or she accepts their particular dental insurance. Of course, not everyone has dental insurance, in fact, an estimated 100 million Americans do not, which is why people should be looking for a dental health professional who accepts discount dental plans. For a low fee of about $100 a year, a person can purchase a discount plan that will give him or her access to a wide range of dentists who will perform services for up to 60 percent less than the original cost. The best part is, people who don't have one of these plans can purchase one and begin using it right away, unlike with dental insurance. For all of these reasons, people without insurance should make sure that their dentist accepts discount dental plans. 

2. Consider convenience - If a dentist is too far away from where a person lives, chances are he or she may use this as an excuse not to go when experiencing pain. Even mild dental pain can be a sign that something is seriously wrong in the mouth, which is why the American Dental Association recommends that people choose a dentist who is close to them. Also, it may be a good idea for people to choose a dentist who is near their office. Often, people end up having to schedule a trip to the dental health professional when they have work, so it's a good idea to choose a dentist close to the office. 

3. Make sure he or she focuses on prevention - Dental Health Magazine recommends that when looking for the right dentist, people should make sure that the number one thing on the dentist's mind is prevention. A good dentist will be sure not to just clean people's teeth and send them on their way. Instead, he or she will take the time to explain to patients the importance of keeping their teeth clean, and even show them the best ways to brush and floss and answer any questions patients may have. 

4. Find an accommodating dentist - The ADA adds that it's particularly important to find a dentist who gives people special arrangements for how he or she can be contacted or where patents can go outside of office hours. Dental emergencies can occur at any hour of the day, which is why people need to know that even if their dentist can't be there when a problem occurs, he or she has a plan for how serious dental issues can get taken care of. 

People who follow these simple steps are sure to find a dentist who's right for them. 

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