“So You Want To Find A Santa Monica Dentist Just Right For You?”
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Here Are 10 Facts You Need To Know Before Choosing One
How important is finding the right Santa Monica Dentist to you? Does the thought of seeing a dentist cause a pit in your stomach, cold sweats, and uncontrolled tension in your body? Do you feel paralyzed every time you sit in the dental chair?
While seeing a Santa Monica Dentist may not be something you look forward to, it’s something you can’t avoid. But what if there were steps you could take to make your experience more pleasant. As you read every word of this article you will learn some easy but powerful steps to insure you’ll have a more positive experience.
1) Study Your Choices
Evaluate several dentists before deciding which dentist you want to visit. Even though a general dentist may be trained to perform all types of treatment, each one comes with a unique background and practice experience. You may find one Santa Monica dentist focusing on his expertise in implants while another dentist focuses on cosmetic dentistry. Finding a dentist with a practice philosophy that matches your dental expectations will reduce future conflict and disagreements.
2) Convenient Hours
Does the office have convenient hours? If you end up need multiple visits to complete your dental treatment, you’ll definitely want an office with flexible hours. Many Santa Monica dentists open evenings and weekends for the convenience of their patients who don’t want to take extra time off work.
Finding a Santa Monica dentist close to your home or work will save you lots of travel time and gas, especially when you have lots of treatment or a large family. Depending on which dentist you feel comfortable with, seeing one during your lunch hour at work allows you more time after work for other activities.
When you first visit the Santa Monica dentist you’ve selected, pay special attention to how clean and organized the office is. If you notice dirty looking counters and equipment, unorganized supplies, and old trash, you need to walk out and find another office. With today’s life threatening diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, you can’t take office cleanliness for granted. Ask the staff what universal precautions and sterilization procedures are practiced to safeguard your heath. Standard precautions should include the use of disposable gloves, sterilized instruments, disinfectant sprays or wipes for the counters or large equipment. Disposable plastic tapes also work fine for protecting handles and light switches.
5) Use of Permanent Files
Your personal information, financial records, and x-rays are valuable documentation that need proper protection. Be sure the Santa Monica Dentist you select stores your records in a permanent file or is backed up onto a storage device if they are paperless. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) provides federal protection regarding the privacy of your dental records so be sure the office has protocols in place to keep your information from unauthorized access.
6) Does the Office Practice Preventive Dentistry?
Does the dentist share techniques or information to help you prevent future dental problems? Unless you enjoy frequent visits to the dentist, learning about the latest preventive techniques helps you keep your teeth for a lifetime. Also ask if the office provides instructions for proper oral health care.
7) Emergency Service
When the office is closed or your Santa Monica dentist is out of town or vacation, what arrangements are made for handling emergencies? Most offices have an emergency exchange that refers your call to the dentist, another colleague, or an emergency service if your dentist is unavailable.
8) Treatment Planing and Finances
How does the dental office handle their fees and payment plans before starting treatment? You should expect all proposed treatment options and fees to be presented in writing before starting any treatment. Ask what type of third party financing options are offered. If you decide to use third party financing to pay for your dental treatment, you need to be aware of recent legislation designed to protect you from being charged for treatment without your consent.
Effective January 1, 2010, California Legislation approved Assembly Bill #171 requiring healing art professionals including dentists to provide written notice and a written treatment plan before charging any third party financing for treatment yet to be performed. You have a right to be provided with a list of the proposed treatment and services, the estimated costs of the treatment and services, and which treatment and services are being charged in advance of the date of service. Ask the dental office if you’ll receive a written treatment plan prior to treatment being performed.
9) Membership In a Professional Organization
A Santa Monica dentist who belongs to a professional society or organization usually commits to providing their patients with a higher stand of care. While all dentists are required to attend continuing eduction, you’ll find some dentists who invest extra time learning advanced skills to provide a higher quality of care for their patients. Ask the office if their dentist is involved in advanced training study clubs or continuing education courses.
10) Does The Office Treat Dental Phobic Patients
If the thought of seeing a Santa Monica dentist makes you want to run, you need to find an office that caters to dental phobic patients. Ask if they have nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedation to help you relax. Find out if the dentist takes the time to make you feel comfortable.
With the right Santa Monica Dentist, you can have a positive dental experience. Follow the recommendations on this list to find the right dentist just for you. A good place to start is by browsing our directory of Santa Monica Dentists where you can get details about their office and learn more about their education and training. Search our directory now to make your appointment today!