When you’re choosing a dentist, you do need to take your time and make sure you’re making a wise decision. There are several factors to consider. Find the best dentist in Nashville, Tennessee, using these tips.
Choose the Best Location
Before anything else, decide where you want to go for dental visits. Would you want to be closer to work or school or nearer your home? If you choose a dentist near your work, what happens if you transfer jobs?If you’re still in school, what happens when you graduate and start working? Would you still want to keep going to that location? If not, you’re often better off choosing a dental practice nearer your home.
Check Your Dental Insurance Company’s Approved-Provider List
Unless you’re okay paying more for your dental care, you need to choose a Nashville dental practice on your dental insurance company’s approved provider list. If you go outside of that in-network dentist list, you’re not enjoying the benefit of negotiated discount rates.The cost of dental care can be high and keep some people from getting the oral care they need. Take advantage of dental insurance coverage. Plus, the healthier your teeth and gums are now, the less likely it is that you’ll encounter expensive problems in the future. Catching cavities in the early stages is important.Why is an in-network dentist so important? When the dentist you choose is in-network and the dentist’s typical fee is $1,000, an insurance company may negotiate a rate that’s 25% lower. The dentist would instead charge $750. If your portion is 50%, you’d pay $375. If the dentist was out-of-network, the $1,000 fee would stand. Your 50% is $500, so you’ve lost out on the in-network savings.The other perk to in-network dentists is that you only have to pay your portion at the visit. With an out-of-network dentist, you may have to pay 100% upfront and wait for the insurance company to reimburse you.Most insurance companies have a section on their site that says something like “Find a Dentist.” Once you’ve logged in, use that tool to find dentists who accept your insurance. Save time and hassle by starting your search here. Once you have a list of possibilities, you can start narrowing down your search.
What Does the Dental Practice Offer?
It’s important to look into a dentist’s training. Not every dentist can take care of braces, crowns, veneers, bridges, etc. If this is the case, you’d get referred to a specialist for some of your dental care. That may not be convenient for you.As you search, you might find one dentist has DMD and another has DDS. These stand for Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) and Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry/Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD). The education is the same and allows the graduate to handle general dentistry procedures. From there, there may be specialties like periodontists, oral surgeons, orthodontists, cosmetic dentists, etc.Suppose you go in for a cleaning and exam, and a problem with an old crown is discovered. That dentist doesn’t do crowns and will have to refer you to a colleague to have the tooth repaired and fitted with a new crown. But, you don’t have a car and rely on public transportation and the recommended colleague is not on the bus line. This is a significant problem for you. It may be better to look for a dental practice that handles restorative, cosmetic, and preventative dentistry in one or at least in neighboring buildings.
Research Practices and Narrow Down Your List
It’s time to start narrowing down your list. One of the first steps is to go to the American Dental Association’s member directory (findadentist.ada.org) and see what you find. Ask friends, family members, and associates who they use and if they’re happy at their practice.Read online reviews, but don’t put too much faith in them as being honest. People are more likely to leave negative reviews than positive ones. And, sometimes, the negative reviews stem from simple misunderstandings that, when resolved, don’t get updated with corrected reviews. What you want to do is look for patterns where multiple people are making the same complaints or leaving the same praise. If you’ve found eight people saying the dentist is an expert at helping you feel calm and relaxed, that’s important information to keep in mind.
How Is Your Health?
Do you have underlying physical or mental health issues that require special care at the dentist? If you have severe dental anxiety, you need a dentist with the experience to help you get through an appointment. Patients with diabetes or gum disease may need more dental visits and specialized care. Make sure you’re choosing a dentist who has the expertise to help you with your dental care needs.
Check the Dentist’s Hours
Do you work or have classes each day? You do want to check the dentist’s hours. If it’s hard for you to get time off, you need a dentist that has hours early enough in the morning or late enough in the afternoon for you to get to the office before it closes for the day. Practices with multiple locations can also make this easier to manage. When you call or email a dental office with questions, find out if they ever make exceptions for those who have a hard time getting to the practice during normal office hours. Ask if virtual consultations are offered. It’s a good way to get to know the dental team and determine if their personalities are the right fit for you.
Make Sure You Feel at Home
Most importantly, make sure you feel right at home in the dental office. If you feel uncomfortable, it’s not a good fit. You may have anxiety or nervousness while you’re with the dentist, but you shouldn’t feel that the dentist is judging you or being demeaning towards you. You shouldn’t feel extreme discomfort during a procedure. If that’s happening, find a different dentist. Too many people end up scared of the dentist due to excessive pain during a filling or tooth extraction. An experience like having the dentist comment on your teeth being the reason you can’t find a date is equally traumatic and shouldn’t happen. If you are having these experiences, find a new dentist.
The Best Nashville Dental Practice
Jody Jones DDS accepts most major insurance companies, including Delta Dental, Humana, and Maverest Dental Network. CareCredit and in-house financing plans are also available. Give us a call if you need help determining if Dr. Jones is an in-network dentist. Whether you’re looking for a dentist for routine cleanings and exams, teeth whitening, veneers, dental implants, or Clear Correct for teeth straightening, the team at Jody Jones DDS is ready to help.Clients rave over the team at Jody Jones DDS because of the level of compassion, even if dental anxiety is a problem. If you’re looking for the best dentist in Nashville, Tennessee, who specializes in dental phobia, you’ll love the care you get from Dr. Jones and his staff.