The Chicago area is fortunate to have many qualified dentists to serve the city and it’s many neighborhoods, as well as the cities and towns in the suburbs. But, with so many dentists and options to choose from, how do you choose the best Chicago dentist that’s right for you?
Tips for Choosing the “Best Chicago Dentist” for You
There is no simple or magic solution to this question, but these tips can help you narrow the list and give you the tools to make an informed decision.
1. Set Priorities
Before seeking out a new dentist, think about what you want out of the experience and what matters most to you. What are your must-haves and what might you be willing to compromise on?
Things to consider include:
Proximity: How far do you want to travel to see your dentist? How convenient is the route to you? Will you need to sit in traffic to get to and from?
Office Size: Large and small practices each have their benefits and drawbacks. Sole providers or small offices mean that you are more likely to form a personal relationship with your dentist, but it could take longer to schedule an appointment. Larger offices can involve having to get to know more dentists and staff, but offer more services and have more flexible scheduling.
Dental History: If you have a specific dental issue or suspect that you might, look for a provider who specializes in that area. If you have a relatively clean dental history, your choices will be much more open.
Scheduling: Are you limited in the times that you can visit the dentist? If so, look for providers who can meet your schedule. Larger offices tend to be more flexible about offering evening and weekend appointments.
2. Reviews Matter
Medicine is a business that’s built on referrals, both on medical expertise and bedside manner. This applies to dentistry as much as any other type of doctor. And, in the age of Google, Yelp, and Healthgrades, it’s tough to do anything these days without reading at least a few reviews first.
Make sure to read online reviews for the dentists you are considering, but remember that they only tell part of the story. These comments tend to be dominated by people who had overly negative or overly positive experiences, which makes it difficult to get the full picture.
Utilize social media for recommendations, or seek input from friends, family, and colleagues to get a better sense of a dentist’s reputation in the community. If someone in your network has had a good experience, they will likely be happy to pass along the information to someone else who is interested.
3. Insurance and Payment Options
Another important factor to consider is whether a dentist accepts your insurance. This might not be as easy to find online, so be prepared to contact the office directly to ask. Your insurance company may also be able to give you a list of dentists who are part of their network.
This is also a good opportunity to ask about payment options and, if applicable, what the price range is for a particular procedure.
The conversation about payment options becomes even more important if you do not have dental insurance. Many large dental offices have special offers and coupons, and offer payment plans and credit financing, but smaller offices might not.
4. Try It Out
So you’ve done your research but are still torn between a few dentists? The best way to make a final decision is to contact each of them and ask to set up an appointment. Many practices offer free consultations for new patients, so you have nothing to lose.
This visit will give you the opportunity to assess the dentist and the practice as a whole to make sure that it meets all of your priority criteria. A good dentist should respect your desire to make an informed decision. Be wary of anyone who pressures you to come back.
Again, the good news about the Chicago area is that there are plenty of dentists to choose from. You only have one set of teeth so make sure that you do your due diligence in finding the one that’s right for you.