Dr. Jim's 10 Ways to Develop a Great Relationship with your Dentist
1. Don't be afraid to ask the doctor:
- What is going to be done for me today on this dental appointment?
- What are the fees for today's services?
(This way, there are no surprises. I try to "Inform before I Perform," whenever I can.)
2. If you must change an appointment, please try to give our office at least 24 hours notice. Why? Because hygienists and assistants are paid on an hourly work rate. This courtesy helps to keep dental costs down, which we can pass on to our patients and allows us to use our call list to fill the appointment time.
3. If you are on a tight schedule and don't want to wait for a doctor who may be running behind on his or her schedule, call and simply ask if the doctor is on time. Doctors don't mind, and it will help both patient and doctor keep a friendly, understanding relationship.
4. When looking for a dentist, ask family, friends, and neighbors who they go to. Ask what they like but also what they don't like about their doctors.
5. Most doctors are usually pretty close on fees. For an example, if you call 10 doctors, 8 might have a crown fee of $1,200, one doctor might charge $800 and another one $1,900. Remember that something may be wrong with the extremes.
6. Get to know the names of the doctors, their assistants and staff. Office staff enjoy hearing their names spoken! This makes people feel like a part of your office family also.
7. If there is more than one hygienist, try them all and select the one you like best, or works best with your schedule! Then, keep this person for your continuous care appointments when possible.
8. Seeing a dentist only two times a year isn't for everyone. Some people need to see the dentist only twice a year, others 4 or more times a year. This all depends on: a person's oral hygiene, physical health and calculus build-up. It has been shown that an extra cleaning appointment or two, costing approximately $100 per year, can help save the consumer as much as $5,600 in costly gum surgery expenses. (Be penny wise, not dollar foolish.)
9. If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask! An educated person is a wiser consumer.
10. Read you dental benefits booklet carefully. If you have any questions, contact your benefits coordinator at work. Our dental office may be able to help you too. Benefits vary. Insurance companies have many different plans to choose from, with widely varying benefits!
Fact: Most people will change their insurance companies, physicians and primary residences before they change their dentists!