Choosing the Best Dentist in Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs Dental Office
Today more than ever, dentists and dental offices are absolutely not the same. Dental care is not a commodity, it is a combination of varying skill sets, knowledge, technology, and customer service. The treatment options offered, the quality of care, and philosophy of care vary dramatically from office to office. Choosing the wrong dentist for your needs could be an unfortunate and irreversible mistake!
9 Questions You Should Ask When Choosing a Dentist:
1) What will my first visit be like and how much time will the Doctor spend with me?
- Time: At our office, your new patient visit will take at least an hour. You will receive the time you deserve to express your concerns, share your past experiences and to talk about what your goals and expectations are for your dental health and appearance. It is a time for you to ask questions so that you can make informed decisions about the dental care that is best for you.
- Oral Cancer Screening Exam: Oral cancer is on a rapid rise, especially in the low risk population. Your dentist should feel and examine from both sides your: neck, floor of the mouth, and cheeks. You should stick out your tongue and the dentist should move it side to side to view all parts of it. Early detection means a much better prognosis and outcome.
- Thorough Medical and Dental History Review: Current research is proving just how critically important dental health is to your overall health. It is extremely important that a thorough medical and dental history be obtained and reviewed to make an accurate and proper diagnosis. Your dentist should also ask about any problems or bad experiences you may have had. We know there is a human being with feelings and concerns attached to those teeth. We want to treat you, not just your teeth.
- Complete Periodontal Charting: Periodontal gum and bone disease is the #1 undiagnosed illness in America and the #1 reason for tooth loss. It is unfortunate how few offices today do complete periodontal charting for their adult patients. Have you ever had every single tooth measured in 6 places to diagnose permanent bone loss or heart disease causing infection and bleeding? Probably not.
- Complete Series of Diagnostic X-ray Images: Caring for and treating you without x-ray images is like flying in the dark without radar. A dentist cannot diagnose what he/she cannot see. That is why detailed images (within 5 years) showing ALL of the teeth, roots, and bone holding the teeth in place are a part of any complete and thorough examination. Images show cavities, bone loss around teeth, tumors, infections, failing restorations, and much more.
2) Will you explain my treatment options, how much it will cost, and how many visits it will take?
Many dentists do not offer your best dental solutions, only treatments they are capable of performing. Often they pre-judge what you may accept or what an insurance company will cover. This is a disservice that prejudices your care and outcome. Before any treatment is rendered, your dentist should inform you of his findings. Then he should discuss: different options, risks and benefits for any recommended treatment. He should address all of your concerns and answer your questions. After all, wouldn’t you want the best life expectancy, comfort, and appearance possible within your budget for your smile?
Knowing what your treatment will be, how many visits it will take, and how you will be able to afford it should be clearly explained and easily understood before any care begins. That is what you can expect at Smiles For Life Dental Care.
3) Can you furnish me with professional references and patient references?
Ask for at least five references two of which should be dental specialists. First, any dentist should have at least three satisfied patients that are willing to share their patient experience. Secondly, if a dentist cannot provide two dental specialists that will attest to his or her ability as a dentist, he may not be respected by his peers. A dental specialist, such as an orthodontist, a periodontist, or an endodontist sees patients from a wide range of area dentists at one time or another, and they are aware of what kind of care is available and what kind of quality is being provided. The few minutes you take to check these references could be the best thing you ever did to avoid an unfortunate outcome for your dental care.
4) Have you continued your learning and implementation of the latest technology, techniques, and methods for optimal patient care?
Choosing a dentist who has limited experience, lacks advanced training, or has not kept up with rapidly improving techniques and equipment could leave you irreversibly disappointed. The more serious and complex your dental needs are, the higher standard of advanced care you should seek.
A dental school diploma is only a starting point in what can be an exciting life long career of ever improving advances in patient care and comfort, if the dentist so chooses. Advanced training and proficiency in the areas of cosmetics, complex reconstruction, dental implants, and customer care must be obtained after dental school. You want a dentist and team that is perpetually enrolled in training to stay current with the amazing advances in patient care and clinical techniques. That is the standard we have set for our team at Smiles for Life Dental Care.
5) Will you guarantee and warranty your work?
By law, dentists, nor any other doctor, can guarantee results. We can, however, guarantee and warranty the quality of our work, though few ever do. Did you know that Dental Insurance statistics show a large percentage of their participating Preferred Providers restorations failing within just 5 years? Do you want that kind of pain, suffering, and inconvenience?
At Smiles for Life Dental Care, if any recommended restoration I place ever fails within 5 years, I will repair it, replace it, or even credit that amount toward alternative treatment if necessary, at no charge to you. That is how confident I am in the quality of my work. In over 20 years of practice, my success and service rate approaches nearly 100%. So you may pay a little more the first time but you will receive tremendous value! Consider how many times you want to re-pay to have your teeth re-fixed over your lifetime? And just how many times can you and your teeth handle that?
6) Do you provide easy affordable payment options and insurance processing services?
You desire excellent care, if only it were affordable. Ask what options you may have to pay for your care, besides all at once. Note that those who need financing often do not qualify for CareCredit™ and most other financing companies. When it comes to dental benefits, you want an office who really understands insurance and will go the extra mile to see that you get the benefits you deserve. Smile rehabilitation and complex reconstruction done right can often cost as much as a car or a year at college. Most people are going to need affordable financing for these expenses. So why should dentistry be any different?
At Smiles for Life Dental Care, we understand and make it easy for our patients to get the care they want and make it affordable too. We are your unrestricted preferred provider that work to get you the maximum insurance benefits possible and the best long term value. With Spring Stone™ Financing we can offer 0% Financing for up to 12 months. And now with Compassionate Care Financing™ we can custom design a payment plan that most all will qualify for and terms that will best work into your budget. It’s fast, easy, and truly affordable.
7) Do you offer a FREE office tour or Smile Evaluation to meet you first?
You don’t typically buy a car without a test drive or decide on a house without seeing it first. So why would you pick just any dentist without first doing a little research or paying them a visit just to see? After all, your dentist and his care will permanently affect you and your families dental health, appearance and wellness forever.
We always welcome any patient or family considering us for their dental care to tour our office. This is simply a chance for you to meet us, view the beautiful office surroundings, note the impeccable cleanliness, and see that you feel comfortable and confident in us caring for you.
Still not sure? Then why not come in for a FREE, NO OBLIGATION Smile Evaluation to determine if we can help you, answer any questions you may have, and perhaps suggest some solutions to help you in your decision process?
8) Do you have a waiting policy?
One of the biggest complaints revealed in recent healthcare surveys is offices that have no respect for people’s precious time and keep them waiting. Understandably, situations needing additional time can arise to complete the treatment properly rather than on time. Note: a dental office always seeing patients with emergencies and toothaches can be a sign of a doctor not properly diagnosing and treating his patients. There are also offices that routinely overbook, much like an airline. In time, you get bumped or delayed until a chair is available. A few questions will give you some great insight.
At Smiles For Life Dental Care, our policy is that if you have to wait more than 15 minutes you will receive our personal apology and a free gift card for the inconvenience WE have created. Rest assured, our patients almost never have dental emergencies or toothaches. We always give patients the time and consideration they deserve.
9) Can you show and help me to prevent future problems from occurring after treatment?
Many patients receive extensive treatment with no care instructions only to see it fail and problems continuing to recur. No wonder some people get so fed up and say, ‘Just pull ’em Doc!’ Well I’m here to tell you, it just doesn’t have to be that way. All too often dental offices never take the time to educate and demonstrate for the patient how to properly prevent, protect, and preserve their teeth, gums and dentistry. Has a dental office ever taken the time to really educate and have you demonstrate how to floss and brush your teeth properly? Probably not. How sad; how unfortunate.
High quality dentistry can last a lifetime if it is well taken care of! Just the other day I saw a patient who before he met me was constantly having dental emergencies, pain, and problems. I had the honor of restoring his entire smile, despite his skepticism. 12 years have passed since then and he said, “Doc, Perfect! Not one single issue. I do the things you showed me and I’ve never had a problem!” We pride ourselves on our Free dental prevention and wellness training that keep you pain free, healthy and smiling with confidence.