Choosing a Dentist in Portland, OR: What to Look for in a Dental Clinic

Screen shot 2013-10-15 at 6.38.51 PMChoosing a dentist can be an overwhelming proposition for the uninitiated for those who have recently moved to a new area. Not only do you have to take into account the quality of care you will receive but also you have the additional factor of your insurance provider to consider. Once you do decide upon a dental clinic, you then have to make the judgment as to whether or not you want to remain with that dentist based upon their procedures and how well they treat their patients. Again, however, it’s tough to make that judgment call if you’re unfamiliar with how a good dentist operates. With a little information, then, you can choose the best dentist for your needs and have comprehensive long-term dental care. Bravo Smiles in  downtown Portland is taking new clients.

First thing’s first: a number of individuals will decide upon a dentist based upon the various restrictions within their dental insurance programs. Some insurance plans will only cover dentists within a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization). There are several things wrong with this model however. Strictly speaking, a dentist is “preferred” only because they are willing to work for lower rates which means, amongst other things, that you typically won’t get the best or most updated care. Additionally, those patients within HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) receive less quality care because of the reimbursement structure of the HMO. A dentist within an HMO gets paid a set amount regardless of whether he sees patients or not and, consequently, has no real investment in provide quality care and, in particular, in quality long-term dental care. Your average employer-based dental plan or even traditional “fee for service” dental structures tend to offer better care than the former options.InhouseWhitening-662x1024

Say you have navigated the world of your dental insurance plan and have chosen a dentist that you think will work. What should you look for on your dentist visit that exemplifies great dental care? The first thing and most obvious component you will notice is the dentist’s demeanor. A great dentist is always amiable and willing to make your visit as painless as possible. Additionally, a good dentist will always perform a detailed inspection of your teeth, gums, and palate on your first visit. How well the dentist performs this check and how they record their inspection is the first important feature of long-term dental care. If a dentist performs a check and within 5 minutes tells you everything is fine without any use of record keeping, chances are you are being denied quality long-term care.

Furthermore, when choosing a long-term dental provider it’s important to be extremely weary of great marketing claims. Dentists who always recommend cosmetic dentistry tend not to be the best long-term providers and are, instead, looking for the payout. Also be on the lookout for dentist who hawk various vitamins and who claim to be able to treat pain outside of the mouth (i.e. headaches).

As a whole, choosing a dentist is a time-consuming and often frustrating process. But when you do come across the right dentist, it makes such a difference because you can ensure great long-term care as well as establish that relationship that comes in handy for short-term emergencies. Make sure you become aware of the signs of a good dentist so that you can more easily make the right choice on the first go-around.

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