Interviewing Potential Dentists – Questions to Consider

Selecting the right dentist for you and your loved-ones is an important choice that affects the oral health of everyone involved. To help you in this regard, below are a few recommendations on the best way to choose a dentist.


1. Consider the therapeutic outlook of the dentist.

As it pertains to your own dental health and treatment, examine your personal beliefs. Do you often prefer simply to cope with problems as they come up– waiting until any wisdom teeth come in before you remove them, as an example? Or would you rather take a preventative and more proactive approach to treatment, trying to approach problems before they become a concern?

Ask your prospective dentists how they plan for and approach treatment, insurance and oral health. Ensure that their health-related philosophy and your own coincide, such that all parties would be operating together instead of against each other. In terms of your requirements, remember that dentists specialize, and that your needs may require you to pick a specialist to fulfill those needs. An example of this might be a prosthodontist (read more about prosthodontists here) if your needs include dental reconstruction of some kind.


2. Communication Style.

Effective communication is vital in so many areas of life, and communication between you and your chosen medical professional is especially so. What is the dentist’s manner and personality like? Does the dentist show you that they care about you, or do they see you as simply another paying patient on their books? When asking questions of them, observe how they answer questions, as well as the words they use.

What type of communication is right for you? Would you favor someone who is personable and talkative? Or would you prefer somebody who has a totally technological, just-the-facts method of conveying information? Make sure when you are interviewing dentists that you feel at ease communicating with them, and that everyone can understand each other.


3. Look at their continuing education.

Checking out a dentist’s continuing and specialized education is especially significant when you’re picking a professional for cosmetic dentistry and other, more complicated work. Most dental schools do not provide truly in-depth training in cosmetic dentistry; instead, dentists wishing to specialize usually go on to post-graduate work and education to gain this type of experience. Look at the dentist’s dedication to instruction and continuing education in the latest methods in oral surgery and orthodontics (if you are looking for an orthodontist). Continuing-education implies dedication to excellence in dental performance.


4. Choose a dentist who is interested in your long-term care.

Locate a dental practitioner who’s committed to good preparation and long-term care. A dental practitioner interested in preparation and preventative maintenance is one who is really devoted to your dental health.


5. Financial alternatives.

Locate a dental office which offers dental payment plans that sync up with your ability to pay. With a good payment plan, you will not have to delay important procedures because of financial hardship.


6. Does the dentist in question take your insurance?

Be sure to ask the office if they take your insurance plan. In addition, know your insurance plan well enough to be aware of which procedures it covers, and those it does not cover. This is very important, and this knowledge can help reduce unpleasant surprises down the line. If you do not wish to pay out-of-pocket for your dental visits, find dental practitioners within the insurance company’s approved network of dentists who will work with you to provide the oral health and outcomes that you are looking for.

In summary: make a list of the ten or fifteen nearest dentists, call them all to make an appointment, note your questions about their philosophy, communication, education and experience, long term care outlook, payment plans, and insurance acceptance, and then go interview them. Consider their answers to make a choice as to which one is the best for your particular needs.

For those readers in the Northern Virginia/ Falls Church area, one general dentist and prosthodontist whom we recommend is NOVA Premier Dental- for more information go to their main website here:

Dr. Peterson Huang excels in both his technical facility at prosthetic and general dentistry, as well as his manner. Call them today if you are considering professionals to interview in the Virginia area.


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