Seven Questions to Ask Your Next Dentist

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1 Seven Questions to Ask Your Next Dentist COMMUNICATION Your dentist should be communicating with you on a regular basis in a way you understand. CONNECTION Do you feel like you actually know your dentist? Or is s/he someone you just see twice a year? ENGAGEMENT Does your dentist make you feel like an important part of the practice?

2 contents 03 INTRODUCTION Meet Dr. Tomase and learn why he wrote this guide in order to help you choose your next dentist. 04 QUESTION #1 It s important to know how well rounded your prospective dentist is before 06 you commit. Read the full details. 05 QUESTION #2 Most successful practices are invested in their patients oral health and believe financial considerations shouldn t be an obstacle. 06 QUESTION #3 Does your dentist keep up with all the current dental technologies and advancements? Find out why s/he should QUESTION #4 Today s dental practice often lives or dies by patient reviews. Find out why you should be considered an important part of your dentist s practice. 08 QUESTION #5 You don t just want a dentist who is personable, but one who understands the relationship between patient communication and success. 09 QUESTION #6 Whether it s regular checkups, a night guard for teeth grinding, or treatment 10 for bad breath, your dentist should be able to help you optimize the health of your mouth. 10 QUESTION #7 You have a right to hear from satisfied patients as well as find out if your prospective dentist is respected by his/her peers.

3 Dr. Timothy Tomase and family! In Search of a Dentist? Hello! My name is Timothy Tomase, DDS, and I want to thank you for downloading this ebook. My purpose in creating it is to help guide you in choosing the right dental services for your individual needs and the needs of your family. If you re reading this, you re probably either: a. Actively looking for a new dentist b. Thinking about changing dentists c. Just curious about what Dr. Tomase has to say about the process Regardless of your reason, I m glad you re here. I m going to share with you my insider insights based on many years in practice on the seven most important things you should ask any dentist you re considering before you choose. Some people may be a little iffy about interviewing a prospective dentist, but I want you to know that it s absolutely okay. In fact, if a dentist is reluctant to agree to a meet and greet, then that is a big red flag. After all, the end goal is to find a dentist you are comfortable with so you and your dentist can build a relationship that will last. Think about it. You re going to see this person every six months at least. S/he will be looking in your mouth for years. Shouldn t you actually like him/her? Is that even possible? Of course it is. Not only is it possible, it should be paramount. Remember, not all dentists are the same you should choose someone who is right for you. Not your mother, your best friend, or some other well-meaning loved one. Referrals are terrific, but when it comes right down to it, it s what you think that matters most. By the way, that s me in the photo above holding hands with my beautiful wife, surrounded by our kids and pets. If you d like to learn more about me, please feel free to check out my bio here.

4 Question #1 What kind of dentist are you? Are you a general dentist, or are there areas in which you specialize? It s important to know how well rounded your prospective dentist is before you commit. General dentists are what you could call a primary care dental provider. They pretty much diagnose, treat, and manage your overall oral health, including checkups, cleanings, fillings, crowns, gum care, bridges, and preventive techniques. more years of dental school. Upon graduation, he or she is a general dentist with either a DDS (Doctor of Dental have extensive postgraduate training in several different areas, including dental implants, root canals, and Unless they have had further specialty training, however, some general dentists may have to refer you to another dentist, endodontist, or orthodontist for services other than general. Most general dentists have four years of undergraduate education, then four Surgery) or DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine), depending on the school they attend. If they want to specialize in any specific area, they are required to do additional post-graduate training. For instance, I am trained in general dentistry, but I also cosmetic dentistry. (If you d like to know all the services I provide, please feel free to click here.) Always find out what type of dentist you are interviewing and what specialty areas s/he has so you will know what to expect.

5 Question #2 What are your payment options? Does your practice accept my dental insurance? Most successful practices are invested in their patients oral health and believe financial considerations should not be an obstacle. To this end, they will typically offer several different types of payment plans to those people without dental insurance. Many practices (mine included) will also offer monthly payment options through CareCredit. Regarding dental insurance, remember that not all practices accept all dental insurance providers. It s incredibly important to find this out up front before you choose your dentist. You certainly don t want any unpleasant surprises at checkout! Additionally, there are many practices like mine that give patients a discount for payment in full at the beginning of treatment for procedures over $1,000. Be sure to ask about that as well.

6 Question #3 Do you keep up with the latest advancements in technology? How does this show up in your practice? You will probably be able to tell the minute you walk in if the practice is committed to staying on the edge of dental technology, but ask the question anyway. Unless, of course, there s orange shag carpet on the floor - then just back out slowly. Technology and dental care advancements are very important to almost all dentists. Not only does it help their patients have better experiences and better oral health, but it typically makes their jobs easier as well. A really great dentist will also make sure that his/her team keeps up to date on all the latest advancements. Continuing education courses, seminars, and trade shows should all be part of the dentist s and team s language. This is where new techniques and technologies are learned and mastered. In my own practice, my team and I make sure we know and implement the latest technologies, including lasers, digital x-rays, all-ceramic crowns, etc. We know it s what gives our patients better oral health, and us a leading edge.

7 Isn t it crazy in this day and age that some medical professionals still think stars are simply twinkly Question #4 lights in the sky? With Yelp!, Healthgrades, and any number of other patient Do you encourage feedback? review sites, it s so easy for patients to hop online after an appointment and let the whole world know how it went. Today s practice often lives or dies by how many stars it has. Smart, successful dentists know this, and pay close attention to their online reputations. They not only encourage feedback either online or in person they go out of their way to solicit it. Why is being able to give feedback important? First, encouraging feedback means that your dentist thinks your opinion is important. That you are important. If something is wrong, they want to fix it. That means they have character, integrity, and a patient-centric attitude. Secondly, if they are social media savvy, then chances are good they pay attention to things like technology and keeping up with all the newest advances. At my practice, we ve aligned our entire patient care experience so our patients can engage with us 24/7. They can check in to see how things are going, post patient reviews, get updates even receive loyalty rewards. We do this, not just because we want all those stars, but because we want to cultivate the best possible relationship with our patients so they will feel like what they are an incredibly important part of our practice.

8 Question #5 Do you engage with your patients? In a nutshell, great patient engagement means better patient care. After all, how will your dentist know how best to treat you if s/he doesn t take the time to know you? Or doesn t bother to communicate with you on a regular basis. Or make information easily accessible to you? You don t just want a dentist who is personable, but one who understands the relationship between patient communication and success. At our practice, we ve discovered that patients like to engage on their own time not just during office hours. So we created a customer relationship management (CRM) protocol that lets us communicate with our patients 24/7.

9 QUESTION #6 What can you do to improve my dental health? This may take some dentists a bit by surprise, but it s still an important question to ask. You see, whether it s regular checkups, a night guard for teeth grinding, or treatment for bad breath, your dentist can help you optimize the health of your mouth. But s/he needs to be able to articulate it to your satisfaction. In essence, you and your dentist are partners in keeping your mouth and your smile healthy. But remember, your dentist is not a mind reader and you need to be able to communicate what problems you are experiencing. Telling your dentist about any pain, discomfort or abnormalities means that s/he can come up with solutions to improve your daily comfort and even prevent bigger problems from occurring later on. Ask the question, get the answer, but remember that your dental health is a two-way street.

10 Question #7 Can you furnish me with references? Sounds like a bold question to ask, doesn t it? But really, why shouldn t you ask your dentist (or physician, for that matter!) for references? I certainly would if it was my mouth. Believe it or not, this is done all the time and excellent dentists should have these references readily available. Be sure to ask for four references two from current patients and two from other healthcare professionals like a medical doctor or a dental specialist. The reason is that you want to hear from satisfied patients as well as find out if your prospective dentist is respected by his/her peers. And don t just collect the references be sure to contact them. Some people like to be called, while others prefer to communicate via . The dentist s list of references should indicate which mode of communicate is preferred.

11 We hope you found this guide helpful. If you d like to learn more about Dr. Tomase and his approach to dentistry, just click here or call: (492) Kings Pointe Rd. Toledo, OH 43617

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