A trip to the dentist isn’t just about having a professional brush your teeth. Oral health care is a critical part of keeping your body safe and healthy so you can continue to do the things you love every day.
With that in mind, choosing a dentist is an important step in your care routine. Our team at Russell Cureton D.D.S in Salinas, CA, knows that this can be a tough process if you don’t know where to start. To help you find a dental care office that’s right for you, we put together a few tips for finding a new dentist.
The first step on your journey toward better oral health care should be to determine what’s most important to you. Knowing what you’re looking for in a dentist will help you find a practitioner who is a good fit for you and your family’s needs.
If you don’t know where to start, try answering these questions for yourself:
- What care providers are covered by my insurance?
- What values do I want the office to uphold?
- What services do I want available (preventative, cosmetic, surgical etc.)?
Once you’ve determined what you’re looking for, it’s time to start the search. But where do you begin? The internet can be a great resource but it can be hard to sift through the information flood that comes up.
The American Dental Association has a helpful tool that allows you to search for ADA approved dentists in your area. Using this tool ensures that whoever you find will uphold the five principles of the ADA:
- Respect a patient’s wants and needs
- Do no harm
- Do good
- Be fair
- Be truthful
Your local dental society can also help you find a highly-qualified, trusted dentist near you in Salinas, CA.
A trusted family member or friend may also be able to refer you to a local dentist. If an office is receiving good reviews from their patients, then they are definitely worth checking out.
Once you have a few ideas of where you might like to go, it’s time to dig a little deeper. When deciding on a dental practice, be sure to consider the following:
- Location. Staying on top of your dental visits is much easier if you don’t need to go far.
- Hours. Make sure to find a team who can work with your schedule.
- Communication. Do they have the resources you need to correspond effectively?
- Education. What are the team’s credentials?
- Philosophy. What is the team’s approach to different dental techniques?
You should be able to find the answers to these questions by browsing the dentist’s website.
It is always good to start with a basic consultation before you make a final decision. Meeting the doctor and the rest of the team can be the stand-out difference between practices. At Dr. Cureton’s office, we believe that friendly, professional staff and compassionate care are must-haves for your dental visits.
When you arrive for your consultation, check out the office itself and look for these characteristics: :
- A helpful and transparent dentist and team
- A clean and orderly office
- Modern technology (like digital x-rays)
- Use of the proper protective equipment
- Getting in and out of the appointment in a timely manner
While you’re at the office, ask these questions:
- Is dental health instruction provided for preventive care?
- Will your dental history be recorded and saved?
- What financial options are available for treatment costs?
- What is the missed appointment policy?
- What type of anesthesia is administered?
- How often does the doctor and/or team attend conferences to continue education?
- What safety standards does the team follow?
At the end of the day, you aren’t just looking for a dentist but for a comprehensive team to have your back. The most important factor is your health and well-being, so you should choose a dentist you trust to advise you on your oral health and coach you through any dental problems that may arise.
The team at Dr. Cureton’s office in Salinas, CA is dedicated to providing you with kind and professional care. Our goal is to educate you about your oral health so that we can keep your smile bright and happy.
Make an appointment with us so we can start working on a personalized care plan to keep you healthy. You can also call us at (831) 449-8363.