If it’s been years since your last dental checkup, you’ve moved to a new area, or changed jobs, you may be wondering what you need to do to make a dentist appointment at a new dental practice.
You’re not alone! In fact, most dental offices see patients just like you each day (in addition to the ones they’ve been caring for, for years.) When you call to schedule the appointment, the patient coordinator will talk to you about what to expect, information that you may need to provide, and whether you have dental insurance or a dental discount plan or will be paying out-of-pocket.
Before you call though, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
What’s Your Primary Concern?
Before you pick up the phone, take a moment to consider your dental needs and concerns. Though, obviously, if you have a dental emergency, you already know what the problem is – so go right ahead and make that call.
Otherwise, you may want to tell the receptionist that you need a new dentist and would like to start off with a general checkup and teeth cleaning. If you haven’t been to the dentist for awhile, and want to get started on getting your mouth healthy again, mention that too. It’s likely that a checkup, cleaning and probably x-rays will be the first step.
If you’re very anxious about getting dental care, tell the receptionist that too. All of this information helps the receptionist find the right time slot and – if there are multiple dentists working in the practice – the right dentist to schedule your appointment with. If you want to see a specific dentist, of course you should mention that too.
Find the Best Provider in Your Area
Knowing your primary concerns helps you to choose the right dentist. If you need a lot of tooth restoration work done, you may want to work with a prosthodontist- a dentist who specializes in the restoration and replacement of teeth. Have gum problems? You may wish to see a periodontist.
Whether you see a specialist or a general dentist, you’ll want to do some research online and offline to see how people feel about the dentists you’re considering seeing. Ask your friends, neighbors, and coworkers which dentist they go to and how they feel about the practice. If you’re checking out online reviews, remember to take one or two negative ones with a grain of salt … but also be wary if the dentist has nothing but five star reviews that all sound very similar. Generally, a mix of four and five star reviews that read as if they were written by real people rather than people copying a script, indicate that you’ve found a good dentist.
Let Them Know if You Have Dental Coverage
When you call to schedule your appointment, ask the receptionist if they take your dental insurance. If so, in most cases they will need to collect basic information from you to coordinate pre-verification prior to you being seen. Some people are surprised to learn that that their dental insurance carrier requires things such as social security numbers and birth dates to process a claim. If your dentist doesn’t have that information, the insurance carrier may reject the claim and refuse to provide any reimbursement for your treatment. All of your data is protected under federal privacy laws and regulations.
If you have a dental discount/dental savings plan, you’ll also want to confirm with the receptionist that the dentist accepts your plan.
No insurance or dental discount plan? Virtually all dentists are happy to work with patients who don’t have insurance. You may get a discount for paying in cash, but look into the savings you can get with a dental discount plan – you may be able to save more on your dental care with a plan.
Looking for an Affordable Dentist Near You?
Contact the team at LowerMyDentalBills.com to speak with our savings experts about finding an affordable dentist in your area who accepts dental discount plan. We’ll be happy to assist you.