When you select a dentist, your choice should be based on the skill of the dentist and your ability to easily get to your appointments. However, once you have found a dentist you can trust that is in a good location for you, what else should you be looking for? Whether your dentist uses the latest technology during their work or whether the office accepts your insurance are also important, but here are the five patient conveniences that will let you know what level of patient care your potential-dentist really offers.
Automated Booking Services
Being able to make your appointment online and confirm with a text message is not only quicker and easier for you, but also allows the in-office staff to spend less time booking appointments and more time assisting patients that are waiting for treatment. This service means that you will be able to easily add your appointments to your electronic calendar and make or cancel an appointment at any time of the day. It also ensures that when you actually visit the dentist you will have a quick intake and staff will be available to answer any questions you might have.
24-hour Email or Phone Emergency Line
Your dentist should not send you to the hospital for after-hour emergencies, and you should not be required to have a separate emergency dentist on file for dental emergencies that happen on the weekend. If your dentist has an emergency email or phone line, you can create a treatment plan together including discussing pain management until you can see your dentist. If your dentist is not available for after-hour consultations, they should have a clear emergency dentist that they can refer you to.
Online Payment for Services
More dentists are accepting extended payment plans for expensive procedures. However, if you have monthly payments, you do not want to have to stop by the office to make them. Not only does that take time out of your busy schedule, but it also takes time away from the patients waiting for treatment. Your dentist should have a way to accept payments either through their website or through an online bank transfer.
Clear Pricing Available Before Treatment
With the rising costs of dental care, it is important for you to know how much various procedures will cost before you agree to them. Your dentist should list common procedures and a price scale for them online. However, the complexity of procedures varies from patient to patient, so your dentist should be prepared to give you a more specific quote after he or she examines you.
Additionally, your dentist should work with you to find out if your insurance is valid at their office, and which treatments are covered. Although this is ultimately your responsibility, a convenient dental office will keep a list of insurances and procedures that have been approved.
Access to Digital Copies of Your Records
If you travel, move, or simply want to switch dentists, you will nee access to your dental records. The easiest way to transfer records between dentists is through digital copies. Some dentists may not offer access to these records online, as they should be password protected to ensure patient confidentiality, but they should be willing to make you a copy of your records any time you ask for them.
Although these are all great services, not all dental offices offer them. Hospitals and dentists are beginning to understand the importance of convenience for their customers though, so look out for these features when searching for a new dentist, or suggest the ones you need to your current dentist.