You’ve settled into your new home and have begun work at a great job. Now, it’s time to unpack the moving boxes and get acquainted with your community. In addition to enrolling the kids in new schools, there are other adjustments that are needed when families relocate to a neighborhood too far away to continue using the same medical and dental care offices.
If you’re lucky enough to have friends or family in your new location, they may be able to recommend a new dental practice. But what if you don’t know anyone locally?
There are two things to consider – the quality of the dental services you’ll need and how to pay for them. Many families can’t afford the high cost of dentistry and have no dental insurance because the premiums are out of their financial reach. In those situations, families can have their oral health care needs met with Discount Dental Plans that offer a wide range of dental work at reduced prices.
Where to Find Help
Many state dental associations have referral services that provide a selection of local dentists to consider. That’s a good starting point, because now you’ll have some dental practices to research.
The American Dental Association also has a public service called “Find-a-Dentist” that allows prospective patients to view information and photos about practitioners near them. Some things you’ll want to consider are the specialties of the dentist, languages spoken by the staff and what dental plan options they accept.
“Find-a-Dentist comes at a critical time when more patients are turning to the web for information,” said Virginia Hughson-Otte, D.D.S., who chairs the ADA membership council. “The site is receiving nearly 20,000 unique visitors per month – proof that patients are turning to the web when looking for member dentists and oral health information.”
The Next Step
When the list of nearby dentists is honed down, the process of selecting dental care for your family’s needs can begin. For specific recommendations, you can check with your children’s school nurses, other parents at the school or people in your neighborhood. Hearing someone’s first-hand account of a dental practice from personal experience is invaluable knowledge.
Once you’ve settled on a dentist, schedule a consultation and bring documentationof family members’ dental history. Ask questions about the procedures that are done at the dental practice and when referrals to specialists, including orthodontists and oral surgeons, are made. Some practices include these specialists on their staffs.
Making a Choice
When you’re choosing the same dental practice for all members of the family, staff members there should be as comfortable working with children as they are with adults. The best dentist for a child is one who will use a friendly tone to ease his or her anxiousness and draw attention away from procedures they may find scary.
Take notice of how the office and waiting area is outfitted to see if there are indications that it’s a child-friendly atmosphere. For instance, if you see kids’ magazines or play areas that appeal to young children, you’ll feel more assured that your child’s comfort level is considered by those in charge.
Most important, how the staff handles a child’s natural fears about coming to a new dentist for the first time will indicate how sensitive they will be when dental work takes place. You may feel more comfortable being in the treatment room with their children. A dental practice where the policy calls for parents to remain in the waiting room may not be the right dentist for you and your family.
Have your family had to switch dentists because of a move in the past year? How did your child handle the switch? What did you do to make them feel more comfortable? Let us know below!