Too many people live in fear of dentists, or actually, anyone in a position of authority. They feel inadequate standing next to these well educated citizens and afraid that anything they might say will make them look like a fool. Someone once said that the only dumb question was the one that went unasked. While that might not be entirely true, there are many questions you are entitled to ask of your healthcare provider. The next time you find yourself at the dental office-particularly a new one-here are some of the questions they should be ready to answer.
What have I been doing wrong?
Dentists like to hear about your dental regimen or lack thereof. Be up front and honest about what you’ve been doing and get his thoughts on it. You could have good intentions, but be going about your regimen all wrong. Maybe some of the habits you’ve developed are leading to big problems down the road. By not asking this question, you’re dooming yourself to ignorance. Well, you may say, I read online that I could do this and this. Here’s something you may have heard before-don’t believe everything you read. Multiply this sentiment by a thousand if you read it on some alternative medicine site. Ask your healthcare provider in person. They won’t steer you wrong.
What products should I use?
This goes hand in hand with the last question and is something all dentists should be prepared to answer. Not only that, but you should expect an answer free from bias or conflict of interest. If your guy uses this opportunity to plug his special toothpaste, you may want to start looking for another office. He should be ready to endorse products that can be found for a reasonable price on any store shelf (unless, of course, you really are in need of something more advanced).
What payment options do you offer?
If you’re thinking of having a major procedure done, price could very well be an issue. Particularly if the procedure is considered elective or cosmetic, you won’t have the option of using your insurance to pay for it. Of course, many people don’t even carry dental insurance so that wouldn’t have been an option to begin with. Dentists are often willing to work with their patients when it comes to money, however. Don’t be afraid to ask for a better payment plan. They want you to have the work done and they should be willing to meet you in the middle.