When it comes to dentistry, most consumers really don’t know what they want because they don’t know what they can have. When it comes to choosing a dental provider, like any consumer buying – decision process, you know what you want – knowledge, experience, a caring team and environment, excellent value, and good customer service. So why is it that so many people forget these time tested principles when they go about selecting a dentist and make these 5 Huge Mistakes?
The answer might be in the national brainwashing going on with the disaster in the medical care delivery system and insurance issues that gets carried over to Dentistry. Medicine is being turned into a commodity based solely on price. Fortunately, Dentistry has remained more of a cottage industry where people see their dentist more frequently than a physician and there is more of a personal trust relationship between the dentist and the patient. Dental insurance (which is becoming increasingly rare) is in more of a supportive role. Unfortunately, not all dentists – and for that matter all lawyers, architects, engineers, physicians, teachers, etc do not all have the same education, talent, skill or judgement level. So how is a dental consumer to know these things? You have to know the right questions to ask and in the right order!
“Do you take my insurance?”. This is an important question but is it really the most important question to ask first? No. This is a deciding factor for some but it really should be the last question that you ask when searching out the perfect dentist for you. Interesting fact dental insurance companies do not want you to know: Only in the State of Texas (because of strong dental insurance laws) you do not have to go to “in network” providers even though your policy may talk about in network and out of network. You will get benefits either way!
The dentists on the “Preferred Provider List” are the better dentists. WRONG! Greedy Insurance companies have clever ways of brainwashing people. One would think that preferred somehow indicates these would be better than average dentists. Perhaps the insurance company checked credentials, reviewed competency, skills and cleanliness of the dentist. Not the case. It simply means the insurance company prefers the dentists on this list because they will pay out the least and make the most profit. It is absolutely no indication of a good dentist, unfortunately sometimes just the opposite.
Nothing is hurting. I do not need to go to the dentist. When you were a kid the reason you went to the dentist was to fix cavities. As an adult, the main reason to go to the dentist and have your teeth cleaned is to have healthy gums. That’s what holds your teeth in! If you wait till it hurts you waste a lot of time, money, and preventable pain.
Just do what insurance pays for. If you are fortunate enough to have some type of dental insurance shouldn’t that be viewed as assistance to get the level of dental health that you truly want or deserve? Dental insurance is another bad example of clever words. It should not be called insurance because it is not catastrophic insurance like medical insurance in any way. It is really an annual contract that will pay out a set dollar amount per year (typically $1,500 – and that has not gone up in 30 years!). It is not at all based upon what you might need.
“I will just wait and have ‘em all taken out and get implants.” If you have a broken arm, would you elect to have it amputated and an artificial arm made? I love the wonderful world of dental implants that I do. They are a fabulous answer to someone that simply must lose one or more teeth. It still holds true that it is typically both cheaper and better to have the real thing.
For Dentistry Worth Smiling About,
Randy Mitchmore DDS
Master of both the Academy of General Dentistry and The American Dental Implant Association
1722 W Alabama
Houston TX 77098