Whether you’re new to the area or just looking for a change, finding a family dentist in Scottsdale requires a bit of homework on your part. But knowing the right questions to ask can help you choose the best place for you and your children’s oral health.
Can I Book My Family’s Appointments on the Same Day?
Do you have small children who need to see the dentist as well? It’s usually easier if you can schedule everyone’s appointments around the same time. Depending on the office policy, a family dentist in Scottsdale may be able to block a larger length of time aside so that your family can be seen for checkups back to back, instead of you driving across town multiple times per month.
Unfortunately, not all family dentists offer this option. If large families book several appointments on one day and then don’t show up for their scheduled time slot, it affects overhead costs. As such, some practices make it a policy to see no more than two family members on the same day.
At What Age Do You Start Seeing Children?
Some family dentists have restrictions on the age of patients that they see. For instance, they may offer pediatric dental checkups, but you find out later that they only see children ages 4 and up. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children have their first dental screening by the time they turn 1 year old or their first tooth erupts through (whichever comes first). Even though these early appointments are more educational on the parent’s part, they’re an important step in ensuring your child grows up with minimal dental problems.
What Happens at My First Visit?
Sometimes people walk in to see their family dentist in Scottsdale expecting to receive a full exam and cleaning, or exam and filling. But what you’ve been scheduled for may only be a 15-minute consultation. Ask ahead of time what will be performed during your new patient appointment, so you know exactly how much time to set aside and what to expect while you’re there.
A typical first patient appointment at Lernor Family Dental will include a comprehensive exam, periodontal assessment, oral cancer screening, sleep apnea screening, necessary X-rays, TMJ exam, oral hygiene instruction, and a preventative cleaning (in the absence of gum disease). Children may also receive preventative fluoride and sealants as needed.
Will I Need X-rays?
Most new patient appointments will involve a baseline series of X-rays. But if you’re able to have your recent images transferred from another practice — and they’re of high quality (unfortunately, this isn’t always the case) — the new dentist may not have to take X-rays right away. However, if there is a problem involved (such as a toothache or wisdom tooth pain) you will need an updated radiograph.
On that note, you may want to ask how often the office takes a “full mouth series,” as your insurance carrier might only cover one every 3-5 years. Bitewing X-rays are usually taken more frequently, closer to once per year.
Can I Start Dental Treatment on the Same Day?
Perhaps you’re in pain and need to have a tooth looked at right away. You’re ready to fix it that day, too. Depending on the type of treatment that you need, a good family dentist in Scottsdale will offer some form of palliative care to reduce the discomfort or embarrassment that your particular situation is causing. From there, you can plan a more permanent solution once you’ve had time to schedule a longer appointment.
Do You See Emergency Patients?
If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, you need immediate care that can’t wait. Unfortunately, not all family dentists in Scottsdale offer same day appointments.
Our Scottsdale family dentist reserves specific times throughout the day to accommodate dental emergencies. If you’re in pain, we can tell you exactly what to do next and arrange to see you as quickly as possible. Your comfort is our top priority.
Do You Offer _____?
Are you looking for a particular type of treatment, such as sleep apnea appliances, dental implants, sedation, or smile makeovers? Ask the office up front whether or not that specific service is offered; don’t assume that it is. A comprehensive family practice will offer most services under one roof, or network with specialists to provide those treatments for their patients.
Are You in Network with My Insurance?
Depending on the type of insurance you carry, you may be able to see a dentist of your choice or be required to stick with someone who is listed as a preferred provider. In some cases, you can still receive competitive benefits at an out-of-network dental practice, depending on the fees charged by the practice. A good family dentist in Scottsdale will work closely with your carrier and provide you with an estimated breakdown of benefits before starting any type of treatment.
Do You Offer Payment Plans?
Whether or not you have dental insurance, you may be looking for a payment option that makes it easier to cover all of your treatment or the deductible that’s due. Our Scottsdale family dentist actually offers an in-house savings plan that includes basic preventative care as well as discounts on all treatments, so that our patients without insurance can receive some of the same benefits that conventional coverage would include.
Which Dentist Do You See?
Don’t forget to ask your friends, neighbors, co-workers, or even the checker at the grocery store which family dentist in Scottsdale they see. In many cases, word-of-mouth referrals from existing dental patients are one of the best places to start. Having someone who has been on the receiving end of dental care explain who their favorite dentist is can give you good insight as you begin to narrow down your choices.
At Lernor Family Dental, we’ve been serving the greater Phoenix and Scottsdale areas for a quarter of a century. Call our office today to book your first appointment with us!
Are you looking for the best Scottsdale dentist for families? Dr. Lernor is a top AZ dentist with 25 years of experience treating patients of all ages! Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lernor or give him a call at (602) 483-4112 today.