How to Find a Good Dentist
Choosing to undertake a dental procedure is one of the most challenging decisions that you will make while trying to improve your health. Everyone wants the type of smile that could grace the cover of magazine, but few people know how to start the journey. The first step to achieving the smile of your dreams is by choosing the right dentist.
People expect their doctor to be the top of their field, to know exactly what their patients want, and to be able to provide it cheaply and quickly. While there are doctors out there who can provide such quality of service, they are few and far between. In order to get the smile you want, for a price you can afford, you need to be able to find the right doctor for you. .
Unfortunately, internet research is not enough to make this determination any easier. Yelp reviews can be flawed, BBB ratings can be skewed, and there are dozens of ways to suppress information from the public that doesn’t portray a business in a positive light. While searching Google is no doubt your first step to finding a doctor near you with a – seemingly – good reputation, it cannot be your only step. In order to sort through the misinformation, you will have to [gasp] talk another living human!
Interviewing a medical professional – regardless of specialty – can be uncomfortable for patients. After all, doctors are supposed to represent the apex of education and training, who are you to interview them? However, we have thought of a few questions for you to ask your doctor that will give you the chance to decide for yourself if a dentist is right for you.
“What will you do to make sure I am as relaxed and as comfortable as possible during a procedure?”
If you are nervous about your procedure, or just uncomfortable with dental work in general, you are not alone.
Fortunately, new dental techniques and technologies have been designed with your comfort in mind. This question should give the doctor the opportunity to brag about his cutting-edge technology and how he approaches patient comfort.
For instance, at Celebrity Smiles & General Dentistry, we have a policy of “compassion and luxury”, which is designed to soothe and pamper all of your cares away.
A restful atmosphere will put you at-ease during your appointment so that you have a pleasurable dental visit. Each patient is treated like family. We have a plasma TV for your enjoyment. You can watch your favorite show during treatment, or listen to music with a headset. A warm blanket is provided in case you get chilled, and you’ll even be given a steamy towel after your visit to freshen up.
These types of “patient amenities” are starting to become the standard level of care. If they don’t offer an above-and-beyond approach to patient comfort, you need to decide if that is important to you.
“How can you help me to afford my oral-health care needs?”
Improving your smile is an investment that pays off in dividends both socially and professionally – from your employer, to your spouse, friends, and even business associates. Everyone will respond to your new smile in ways you can’t imagine. You deserve the ability to walk into any room and make a great first impression by flashing your perfect new teeth.
However, fitting medical procedures into your budget can often be a harrowing experience. At Celebrity Smiles & General Dentistry we work with you to make sure that you receive the smile you need for the price you want. Using your insurance provider we will reduce your out-of-pocket costs, and with our flexible payment plans we can stretch your payments out over a set time period in order to eliminate any financial factors to your health care decisions.
Considering how expensive some treatments can be, it is reasonable to expect any doctor to give you some leeway regarding your bill. If they don’t offer some sort of a payment option, that may mean that the office is suffering financially. And an office that is already struggling is generally one that you do not want to be a patient of.
“What assurances do I have that I’ll be satisfied with the results?”
Every dental procedure was developed with a specific outcome in mind. It is the responsibility of your doctor to be able to determine which procedure matches the result that you desire, and take the time to explain it to you in a way that you can understand.
While this doesn’t mean you should expect any type of money-back-guarantee, it will show you the lengths your doctor will go to in order to make sure you are confident going into a treatment plan and what they are willing to do if you are not satisfied. Also, it gives them a chance to elaborate more on their “method”.
For example, at Celebrity Smiles & General Dentistry, Dr. Ronald Schefdore DMD will give you a gentle, yet thorough, examination to start. Taking his time to explain all of the options available to you, and answering all of your questions, the doctor will make his recommendations. We handle each patient as though they are our only patient, so you can rest assured that this first conversation with be unrushed.
Also, with certain procedures, we even give you the option to “test drive” your new smile before you are committed!
With over three decades of experience and thousands of satisfied patients, Dr. Schefdore of Celebrity Smiles goes out of his way to put his patient’s fears to rest. You should expect nothing less from any other doctor you wish to hire.
“I’m already self-conscious about my smile. Will anyone be able to tell that I’ve had dental work done? ”
Dentists – especially cosmetic dentists – live by a code which is similar to that of film editors … When the job’s done right, no one will notice that you’ve done anything at all.
The wonderful thing about the field of dentistry is that, so long as it’s done correctly – and with the right artistic flair – you will be left with a beautiful and natural-looking smile. Other than those closest to you, no one should be able to tell that you’re wearing a dental implant, veneer, or whichever product you chose. They’ll simply notice how radiant your smile is!
Your doctor should explain that with your new and improved smile, you will feel much less self-conscious. Plus, your teeth will still feel natural to you! This is due to the new age materials and techniques that should be used in your treatment.
“What are your qualifications as a licensed dentist?”
All dentists undergo similar basic dental training as required by law; asking your doctor this question will force them to get creative and really try to impress you. Make sure to listen to their answer carefully.
For example, when Dr. Schefdore is asked this question, he often relies on his years of experience and level of artistic skill.
“Creating a new smile requires a dentist to have the eye of an artist. Such an artistic touch cannot be taught in school. When I started performing Smile Makeover’s 30 years ago, only 1% of dentists were doing them; which makes me a member of the dental vanguard for over 3 decades. There have been many advancements in my field over the past 30 years. During this time I have continued my education, ensuring that I only use the most advanced techniques and materials. I have even taught other dentists how to provide superior care to their patients, and I am known as an authority it cosmetic dentistry.” ~ Dr. Ronald Schefdore, DMD
During Dr. Schefdore’s tenure he has developed a broad base of experience and treated thousands of patients – from basic cleanings to extensive dental work such as implants, crowns, and veneers. On surveys, his patients say that he is gentle, provides exceptional dentistry, and appreciate the education and products that he offers to improve their oral health and keep them healthy. He has also written numerous books and articles on the field of cosmetic dentistry, appeared on nationally broadcasted television as an expert in the field, and lectured professionally. Dr. Schefdore’s seminars were voted on the best in the nation for 6 consecutive years by his colleagues.
He is also a proud member of several professional affiliations, such as: the Chicago Dental Society, the Illinois Dental Association, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
Your doctor should be able to produce an equally impressive resume.
Finally, always make sure to see your dentist’s book of “before and after pictures” of past cases. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words!
“How long is the average recovery time for the procedure that I want?”
Of course, there are many factors which decide how quickly and completely someone heals from a dental procedure. Things such as your age, general health, lifestyle, and which treatment you had performed, all play a role in your personal recovery time.
Many doctors can provide you with an “around about” amount of time in which you can expect to be completely healed; however, that isn’t the real purpose of this question. The purpose of this question is to get the doctor to explain all of the ways that they can make your recovery quicker, and more comfortable.
In the case of Celebrity Smiles and General Dentistry, we provide our patients with additional support through non-invasive all natural solutions to aid your body as it heals. These solutions not only assist the body, allowing you to heal more quickly and completely, but they also will improve other elements of your health: skin health, hair and nail strength, inflammation levels, and many more!
Your doctor should never give you the impression that, immediately after the treatment, they will kick you out of their chair, just throw a handful of pain medication at you, and wish you the best of luck in your recovery. They must demonstrate a desire to see their work through until it is fully completed and you are healed. That is the kind of care that you deserve, and you should accept nothing less.
“What makes you different from other dentists in the area?”
This is the potpourri section of the test you are giving your doctor. Asking this question will force them to actively compete against another dentist in the area that may be competing for your business.
If you follow your doctor down their rabbit hole of an answer, you may even get them to start mentioning a few discounts or promotions that they may have “forgotten” to mention earlier.
For example, this was the answer we got when we posed this question to Celebrity Smiles:
“Celebrity Smiles and General Dentistry is one of Illinois’s premier cosmetic dentistry offices and is conveniently located in Westmont, Illinois. Dr. Schefdore started the “1 Day Smile Makeover” 30 years ago using porcelain veneers and sculpturing dental composite on teeth for people who needed improve their smile both quickly and dramatically. The 1 Day Smile Makeover procedure was specially developed for people with few or no teeth and utilizes a combination of: snug fitting dentures, custom dentures, cosmetic dentures, dental implants, life-like crowns, bridges, and partial dentures made from next generation materials.
His work has been featured on the cover of prestigious dental magazines such as Dentistry Today and The Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry. He has also been featured as an expert extensively in the media including: CBS, NBC, FOX, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Readers Digest, Prevention Magazine, and others. Dr. Schefdore was recently awarded as the Top Dentist in the Downers Grove area. Due to his seminars, book, and published articles, his peers have recognized him as a “Leader in Continuing Education for Dentists” for six years.
Celebrity Smiles’ goal is to give you a brilliant smile that lasts a lifetime using modern dental treatments, new materials and convenient home-care products. Even though we emphasize our skill with cosmetic dentistry, veneers, advanced dentures, dental implants, invisalign, as well as crowns and bridges, we also perform general dentistry and can address all of your oral-care needs. We are known for our gentle treatments because we never rush from patient to patient or even schedule multiple patients at the same time.
Because you are the only patient in our office during your appointment we can finish your treatment with 50% less follow up appointments than a high volume dental practice. You deserve the full attention of the doctor and staff. Do not settle for less! We can reduce your stress, be very gentle, save you time, and achieve a better outcome when all of our attention is on your comfort and your smile.” ~ Celebrity Smiles & General Dentistry staff member.
After hearing that, all of my questions were answered and all of my doubt was put to rest. Dr. Ron Schefdore of Celebrity Smiles & General dentistry was the only doctor in the Chicago-area for me! How did your doctor do?