As a dentist who has treated hundreds of people in my many years of practice, nothing matters to me more than the health and happiness of my patients.
Each day, I take pride in the fact that by improving your dental health, I’m also positively impacting your overall health and well-being.
That’s why regular dental check-ups should be a key part of your health and wellness goals, just like daily exercise and healthy eating. However, it’s not always that simple to keep up on routine visits if you haven’t found the right dentist for you. Here are my two key tips to consider as you search for the one that will keep you smiling over the years.
1. Ensure They Respect Your Wants and Needs
As a patient, it’s your right to be involved in any treatment decisions that your dentist recommends. Ask the dentist questions you might have about a diagnosis or procedure before any treatment is performed. If you’re a visual person, your dentist may also have a guide or quick video that they can show you to better explain what’s happening in your mouth and how treatment may help. Make sure you feel comfortable with the answers you receive, and please don’t feel pressure to make an immediate decision. In most cases, it will be okay to take some time to decide. If a dentist can’t or won’t make the time to have an open conversation about his or her treatment recommendations, you also have the right to seek a second opinion.
2. Understand Their Practice Offerings
Depending on the demands of your personal and professional life, you may have certain preferences you’d like your health care providers to offer. Things like in-office entertainment for children, night and weekend hours, or the ability to have a payment plan or schedule appointments online may be extremely important factors in choosing from a few ADA dentists in your area. Don’t hesitate to stop by a dentist’s office to ask these types of questions or visit their website for more information. To find a list of ADA dentists in your area, visit ada.org/findadentist.
Dr. Ada S. Cooper practices dentistry in New York City. She graduated from New York University College of Dentistry and also earned a law degree from Harvard Law School. As an ADA spokesperson, she has appeared on CNN, The Today Show, NBC Nightly News and more.