Good dental health is always a good investment! In the past, people only thought of going to the dentist when they were in pain, when now it is common to go to the dentist and dental hygienist to prevent gum disease, have teeth repaired before they need root canals, as well as making your teeth whiter, more attractive, stronger and to prevent tooth pain or a broken tooth.
Perhaps you have recently moved to Sedona or Cottonwood Arizona, and you are looking to find a dentist near you. Or your dental needs have changed and you are dissatisfied with the dental services you are receiving. Like most people you want to find a highly rated painless dentist near you, who will care for you and your family and has your best interests in mind. Read below to discover how we have helped hundreds of Coconino and Yavapai County folks just like you cut through all the dental marketing hype to find a dental home where you feel a warm welcome, friendly faces and expert care!
Below, Dr. Marsh will share with you some tips you should consider before choosing any dentist. But first, let’s review what most dentists do, so you know why dentistry is so popular and effective for basic family care for cosmetics, endodontics (root canals), dentures, crowns, dental implant crowns, bridges and so much more!
Tip #1 – Check the dentist’s license and credentials. It may sound simplistic but check with the Arizona State Dental Board for license status and if any disciplinary action has been taken against that dentist. Credentials are huge in dentistry!
If you are interested in cosmetic dentistry, has the doctor taken advanced training in all aspects of highest level technical Aesthetic Restorative Dentistry including differential diagnosis and treatment of facial pain as well as case planning and treatment of complex restorative cases, including severe dental wear?
Tip #2 – Can you furnish me with references? Go to review websites such as Google to read reviews concerning the dentist in consideration.
Tip #3 – Do NOT agree to get care from any dentist that does not first provide you with a very clear explanation of what is causing your dental problem. Be sure to seek a dentist that takes digital x-rays to rule out tooth fracture or gross pathology, which you can see on the computer screen. Even better, a great dentist will show you an intra-oral camera picture of your teeth so you will know exactly what the doctor sees in your mouth such as a cracked tooth, swollen gums, or a broken filling. Seeing this opens great communication about your condition, your options, an estimate of costs involved and allow you to be a part of deciding your dental treatment! We do this!
Tip #4 – Visit the office or take advantage of a free consultation! Come visit our office or better yet take advantage of a free consultation. Look for a courteous staff and doctor that listen and take the time to answer your questions. No one in my office is going to pressure you into care. This is simply a chance for you to meet us, and see if our services can benefit you.
Tip #5 – Ask your dentist a few good questions. This is a big one since most patients do not know the critical questions to ask! What are the dentist’s office hours and are dental emergencies handled outside of office hours? We have emergency phone access after-hours directly to Dr. Marsh. Ask about infection control! Does the office follow the recently updated CDC guidelines? We do. Do they participate in a program to monthly monitor the effectiveness of their sterilizers? We do. Ask about insurance! Does the office in consideration help you file your insurance and make every effort to be up front and answer your questions regarding scheduling and billing? We do. Does the office have a payment plan in place? We do.
Tip #6 – Get your dental treatment plan in writing. This is very important, it allows you to go home and think about it before making a decision. Plus, it gives you an explanation of what the care will be, how long it will take and how much it will cost. We do this!
Tip #7 – Don’t Let Your Dental Insurance Company Choose Your Dentist. If your strategy is to choose a dentist that is part of a Dental network, the dentist may only do what the dental insurance company will pay for, that means someone else is making decisions about your dental health and the quality of dentistry you receive. Remember that a dental insurance company’s motivation is not optimal care. For them it is about making money. They accomplish this by denying, delaying and deferring (the three “D’s”. After all, it isn’t their disease or unattractive smile!) Look for a dentist who won’t let your insurance plan dictate their treatment planning. Dental insurance is designed for preventative dental care.
Understand that dental insurance really isn’t insurance because unlike major medical there isn’t any “risk” to insure. This is because they have plan fee schedule allowances, annual maximums and limitations built into the policy. Regardless of your individual dental needs they will only pay out up to the maximum yearly amount allowed. It doesn’t matter how much dental work you decide to do, the “insurance company” will only pay up to the maximum limit, after which you are on your own. For instance, you may be a Delta Dental subscriber, you must think of your insurance benefits not as a “pay-all” but as pre-paid dental treatment which helps you do what you would do anyway if you didn’t have “dental insurance”, (you would just budget differently).
The “insurance trap” is a game that is often played by the both the dentist and the patient. The insurance will only pay a minimal amount of your dental care anyway. It is not a “Major Dental” policy like major medical health plans. It is designed for preventive care and minor or maintenance dental care. Don’t presume more from it than it can deliver, and don’t ask your dentist to compromise what is best for your health because of irrational expectations or improper values.
It is always wise to maximize your dental benefits each year. If you don’t use your benefits you lose them at the end of the year. Did you know that only about 2% of people with dental insurance use their maximum benefits? It’s like taking money out of your pocket and giving it to the dental insurance company! But be careful not to get caught in the “insurance trap” believing that you can only do what is covered. Your insurance will only pay $1,000 (on average) in a year’s time anyway.
I hope this information will give you confidence in taking the first step to regaining your dental health by experiencing the benefits of pain free dentistry.
Call Chris Marsh, DMD a highly rated dentist practicing Sedona dentistry in the red rock dental community since 1984. He works with a top periodontist in Sedona and an excellent oral surgeon in Sedona, Cottonwood and Clarkdale areas. Call 928-282-3246