No one likes to be misled by those responsible for their well-being, like the dentist. After all, for some people, it takes all of the courage they have to visit the dentist in the first place. Imagine their dismay when they figure out that their treatment plan is chocked full of unnecessary procedures. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you find an honest dentist. Yes, they are still out there!
Steer clear of dentists who are hyper-focused on marketing
It’s one thing when new dental offices invest significantly on marketing, but you may want to question why an established practice needs to push the marketing envelope every chance they get. Once dental practices are up and running, patient testimonials and online reviews tend to build a practice up organically. We are not saying that all self-promotion is bad, just be aware that there may be a reason behind the hyper-focus.
Hungry dentists often suggest treatment beyond what is needed
Some dentists find themselves in a position where they need money relatively quickly to stay afloat. Rather than turning to marketing or financial experts, some take it into their own hands and attempt to increase income by pressuring patients into higher dollar treatments than they need. If you feel like you are being pressured to commit to a pretty extensive treatment on the spot, ask for time to think it over. Honest dentists will have no problem giving their patients time to make decisions.
Run fast from a bait and switch
The first visit to a new dentist usually consists of a consultation, exam, and teeth cleaning. Any treatment beyond a simple cleaning should be given in writing. Prices should be easy to understand whether you will pay with cash or insurance. If you find yourself in the dentist’s chair to get a composite filling, only to be told you need a root canal right there on the spot, it’s time to run.
Do a quick online search
Once you gather a list of local dentists, search their names online. Many online review sites give dentists scores based on patient testimonials. The Better Business Bureau is also a great place to start. You can learn a lot from Yelp.com and your state’s licensing board.
Use online reviews wisely
Online reviews function much the same way as word of mouth, except they are found online. To find an honest dentist, look for the reviews that give just enough detail to sound authentic. Be wary of review sites that only show five-star reviews with little to no explanation of how the rating was determined. Online reviews should be as different as the people writing them.
Find a place where second opinions are welcomed
When an honest dentist establishes your treatment plan, they should have no issue with sending you out for a second opinion. If they scoff at the idea and act offended, the chances are that they know you don’t really need that much work done. You also need to watch out for those giving the second opinions. They may intentionally offer a better deal on less work in an effort to steal your business. Dentists that encourage second opinions are confident that they have offered you the best solution to your dental issues.
At Weninger Dentistry, we strive to establish trust with our patients. By building lasting relationships with patients, Drs. Scott and Michelle Weninger are role-models for honest dentists.