To have the best oral health care possible, you need a dentist. Finding a dentist can seem somewhat daunting when you don’t already have one – where do you even begin looking? What kind of things should you look for in a potential oral health care provider? While the myriad factors that might influence your choice can’t all be listed, we can break down what to look for into two broad categories: pragmatic and personal. One category doesn’t supercede the other; just because it’s easy to get to a particular location, for example, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t switch if you don’t get along well with the dentist.
Pragmatic factors are the objective facets of your relationship with a given dental office. How long does it take you to get to the dental office? Do their hours of operation mesh well with your schedule? How long do you have to wait when you’ve booked an appointment? How far do you have to book in advance? These things relate to time and space, and they should probably be an important consideration; while you might reasonably travel an extra 20 minutes to see a great dentist, you might not be so willing to travel 2 hours.
Cost might be the most important pragmatic consideration, namely whether or not the dentist takes your insurance. There’s not a lot of price comparison shopping to be done with dentists; while they don’t have to follow the suggestions in the Manitoba Dental Association Fee Guide, most keep their costs near the fee guide suggestions. That means whether or not they take your insurance is the biggest cost related factor.
Personal factors include your level of comfort with the dentist, as well as their level of comfort with you. The last bit might seem a little strange, but consider that any relationship goes two ways. That means if you have kids, you might prefer a dentist who has had a lot of children as patients. There are methods of establishing what the level of personal comfort is before visiting the dentist; you can, for example, ask if the dentist has dealt with a lot of patients who have anxiety. That way, if you have anxiety, you’ll know the dentist has techniques to help you deal with it before you even get in the office – that alone should comfort you.
Of course, there’s a slew of different factors that will affect how you personally relate to a dentist; upbringing, hobbies, likes and dislikes, mannerism – it can all change how you feel about a person, and dentists are, after all, people. Take the time to understand what you really want out of your relationship with your dentist, then call to find the best Winnipeg dental clinic for you; give us a call, and we’re pretty sure you’ll be glad you did.