The act of finding a top rated dentist can be stressful. After all, how do you know you’ve selected the best dentist in the area that will take care of you and your family? (Read more on How To Select A Top Rated Lakewood, CO Dentist here). Even when you think you’ve found a good option, the concerns don’t end there. You also have to determine if you’re receiving good or bad dental care once you get to the office. Not to worry, we’ve put together this checklist that will ensure you’re getting the best care in the Lakewood, Colorado area (or anywhere for that matter).
First impressions are extremely important, and a quality Lakewood, CO dentist knows this. You should be greeted by a friendly receptionist both when you call to schedule an appointment and when you first step into the office. If your initial scheduling call is rude, feel free to cancel the appointment (within their cancellation time window) and contact another dentist. Often receptionists are responsible for billing tasks as well, and you’ll absolutely want to ensure they are attentive so you are scheduled and billed correctly.
Good impressions are just as important with the dentist and dental hygienist. If they are not really interested in getting to know you, answering your questions, and creating a quality dentist / patient relationship, this is likely a bad sign. Remember you’ll be counting on these people to listen to your needs and stop a procedure when needed to ensure you’re comfortable. If they seem unresponsive upfront, this is not a good sign on how their quality of care will be.
First impressions extend beyond the staff to the facility itself. Does the equipment look modern, regularly cleaned and maintained? How about the condition of the office itself, does it feel sterile and properly cared for or does it give off an aged, dusty vibe? A quality Lakewood, CO dentist will care about the condition of their office. After all, this is part of their reputation, and cleanliness should always be a top priority. The same goes for the hygienic habits of the dentist and their staff. Are they wearing fresh rubber gloves and changing them anytime they step out to perform another task? Do the tools and equipment look clean and modern? If you have any doubts, be sure to ask upfront for clarification. A professional dentist should have no problem responding to your questions.
A huge hallmark of a quality Lakewood, CO dentist is their communication and quality of care. They should be eager to take all the time needed to answer your questions before they begin a procedure. Once the procedure begins, they should check in periodically to see how you are doing. A dentist who rushes through a procedure without ever checking to see how you’re doing is not a quality one. They should be prepared to stop (when possible) if you’re experiencing pain or discomfort and remedy it to the best of their ability before continuing. You are the patient and it is their job to provide you the best care possible. Anything to the alternative is simply unacceptable.
A quality Lakewood, CO dentist will also follow up with you the evening or morning after a substantial procedure. They will want to know how you are doing and if anything odd or uncomfortable has come up. They should make you feel comfortable to share your post-procedure experience. They should also encourage you to come back into the office (at no additional charge to you) if something is not working as it should or you’re experiencing uncharacteristic pain.
A huge concern patients have revolves around the cost of dentistry. While it is true, dentistry can present a strain on some people’s budgets, you certainly don’t want the alternative either. After all, poor dental care at a cheap cost is simply not worth it. Truly it carries more risks than the money you are saving. This said, a dentist should always be respectful and courteous when discussing costs with you. They should always take the time needed to see what your dental insurance will cover and how much it will cost out of pocket after insurance.
A basic cleaning and checkup should be one transparent cost. If you’re having more substantial work done than just a cleaning, the procedures should be itemized. If the office ever tries to make you pay upfront, this is a very bad sign and you should cease care at that office immediately. If you’re forced to consider a cost that is out of your budget, there should always be the option of a payment plan. Finally there should never be any pressure to spend more on work than you’re comfortable with. It is always your choice, and the dentist should be able to explain why essential work is needed and why elective work is not essential.
One last element to pay attention to as you evaluate a Lakewood, CO dentist is their quality of work. Ask questions about the longevity of a procedure and how it should function after completed. If a filing or crown immediately falls out after you have the work done, this may be a bad sign as to their quality of work. As long as you follow their post procedure instructions carefully, the work should last. As we mentioned above, should anything need altered directly after the procedure, it should be at no additional cost to you.
We have put together this checklist because we are certain we will pass each and every item on the list. Grace & Leedy Family Dentistry is a top rated Lakewood, CO dentist, and we take our patient’s experience and care very seriously. Contact us to learn more about the quality experience you’ll have at our office or to get started with a cleaning and checkup.