When most of us think about going to a dentist, we imagine calling the receptionist to arrange an appointment. We might wait days to even weeks to get an ideal appointment time to meet our schedule and not think much of it.
However, there are certain scenarios that don't allow for waiting time. Dental emergencies include issues like:
- Broken or knocked out teeth
- Bitten lip or tongue that won't stop bleeding
- Lost crowns or fillings
- Object stuck in your teeth
- An abscess in your mouth
- A broken jaw
Most dentists reserve a small amount of time in their schedules daily for dental emergencies, though it's still smart to make a phone call before or en route to verify that they can get you in.
A growing number of dental offices, though, are taking this convenience to the next level and offering same day or walk in appointments for ALL types of dental procedures, not just emergency situations. This is especially appealing to patients that do not have a concrete schedule and aren't sure days and weeks in advance when they might be available. And, for those patients who have unexpected free time and want to squeeze in a cleaning or needed dental work.
The notion has previously been that if it takes weeks to get into a dentist, they are obviously quality providers. Perhaps there was a reason that some dentists had many openings while others were juggling a large number of patients. In this new business model, that is not necessarily the case. Great dentists can be available on a "same-day" need.
As when choosing any other dentist, the best way to ensure a great experience is to do a little bit of research beforehand.
- Check out online reviews sites like:
- Google Places
- Google Plus Local
- Yahoo! Local Listing They will give you an idea of customer experiences first hand. Testimonials are a great way to get the inside scoop on the general patient care a practice provides.
- Do some research on their website. A good dental website will be informative, educational and let you know what technologies and services are offered.
- Call the practice. If a receptionist isn't willing to answer your questions and make you feel excited and comfortable about choosing them for your dental care, you may want to think twice. Other questions to ask on an initial phone call might include: which insurances are accepted, pricing, new patient incentives, and what to expect on your initial walk in visit.
- Drop by for an office tour
- Use a third party portal, such as Brighter, to compare dentists. The services they provide, hours of availability, scheduling model, pricing structure, and patient reviews can usually be found in one convenient location on these websites.
There are many perks dentists offer to stand out to their patrons, and as quality dentists vie for the business of quality patients, walk-in and same day appointments are becoming more and more available. If a busy or volatile schedule has been keeping you from seeing a dental care provider, take advantage of this! Do your research in advance and look forward to a positive, convenient experience at your next dental appointment.