200 S. Pleasantburg Dr.
Greenville, SC 29607

Things to Consider When Choosing a Dentist in Greenville, SC

Things to Consider When Choosing a Dentist in Greenville, SC

Finding the right dentist for your family may seem like a challenge, but with so many qualified dentists in our area, you have many options. As with doctors and other service providers, you want a dentist you will feel comfortable with, to keep your family in good health. These tips can help you consider your specific needs ahead of time, so you know what to look for in a dental practice.

If you are looking for dental care in Greenville, South Carolina, call Carolina Oaks Dental Care to interview one of our friendly dentists. Call us today at 864-235-3949 for a meet-up with Dr. Marc Workman or Dr. Susan Maxwell.

Before You Search

Call Your Insurance Provider

Before you look at specific dental offices, check with your insurance provider for a list of in-network providers. Ask if you can see a dentist outside the network, and how coverage will be different if you do. This is an especially important step if you belong to a dental health maintenance organization (DHMO) since they tend to have much smaller lists of in-network dentists.

Big or small?

Decide ahead of time whether you like the idea of a small, family-oriented dentist that schedules one patient at a time or a larger dental office that sees more patients in the course of a day. If you like to get in and out of your appointments quickly during your lunch hour, with no fuss, you may be more comfortable with a larger dental practice. If you prefer more open-ended visits in which the whole staff can focus on you, look for a smaller practice.

Think About Accessibility

Your neighbor may give a glowing review of her dentist, but if the location and office hours aren’t compatible, it may not be right for you. How easily you can access your dentist can make a big difference in your ability to keep appointments.

Before you start your search, think about location. If you live and work in different locales, do you want to see a dentist that is near work, or home? Also think about hours of operation. Will you want to schedule your appointments on a certain day, or time of day? Or is your schedule more flexible? If either your schedule or mobility are limited, accessibility may be a critical factor in your choice of dentists.

Ask Your Community for Recommendations

If you’re starting your search cold, friends and acquaintances are your best resource for information. Ask everyone which dentist they see, and what they like about the practice. Keep in mind that your friends may value different things in a dentist, and there are tons of great dentists out there. If the dentists they recommend aren’t the most accessible to you, don’t hesitate to research dentists on your own.

The Right Relationship

You may only see your dentist every six months, but the time you spend together will be put to best use if you have a good relationship and can communicate easily. When you meet dentists, look for someone you can easily understand, and who seems to be an attentive listener. When you are interviewing dentists, bring a list of questions to ask (see suggestions below) and don’t be afraid to ask a curve-ball question to see how they react. The specific answers you get may not be as important as the sense of personality that shines through. You’ll know when you’ve found someone you like and trust.

In addition to the dentist, you also want to meet the dental hygienist, who you will actually spend more time with. Not only do hygienists perform the more routine interactions, like dental cleanings and fluoride treatments, but they also serve as your best resource for up-to-date information on all topics related to oral health. When you meet these people, ask yourself if you would be comfortable sharing personal information. Do they seem like they are interested in your comfort and well being?

If you have children, think about how they will feel in each environment. How will your children interact with each of the people you meet? Does the office seem child-friendly? Do they encourage parents to stay with their children during treatments? Do they provide distractions and supports to help kids sit still and stay comfortable during treatment?

Do Your Research

When looking at individual dentists, don’t be afraid to research them online. Your state’s professional licensing board can help you verify that your dentist is licensed and qualified, and sites like Yelp and Healthgrades can show you what other patients have to say about a specific practice.

Take a Holistic View

Your focus will be on finding a dentist whose skills and demeanor are compatible with your family’s needs, but you should also take a good look at the whole practice. Does the office function as a well-oiled machine? Are all staff friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful? Is the environment cheerful and clean? Inconsistent policies, high turnover, or confusion among staff may be a sign of dysfunction that can alert you of a less-than-professional establishment. Trust your intuition; if something feels off, you may encounter problems down the road.

Questions To Ask Your Dentist

  • How do you deal with dental anxiety?
  • What areas of dentistry do you specialize in?
  • How do you deal with active children, or shy children?
  • What’s your cancellation policy?
  • What was the best part of your education/training?
  • What are your office hours and days of operation?
  • How’s your dental technology?
  • How does your office handle insurance claims?
  • How long have you been in practice?
  • Will someone answer the phone if I have an after-hours emergency?
  • Do you text appointment reminders?
  • Who will perform the dental cleanings and fluoride treatments?
  • How’s your staff turnover?
  • Can I reach you or your staff by email?

Overall, there’s a wealth of qualified dentists in practice today. Think about your family’s needs, keep an open mind, and trust your gut to tell you when you’ve found a match. The most important part of dental care is keeping your appointments, so choose a practice that you’ll want to come back to.

If you are looking for dental care in Greenville, South Carolina, call Carolina Oaks Dental Care to interview one of our friendly dentists. Call us today at 864-235-3949 for a meet-up with Dr. Marc Workman or Dr. Susan Maxwell.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Insurance

For most people, dental insurance isn’t guaranteed, even with excellent health insurance coverage. The decision to enroll in a dental plan is one that can save you lots of money in the long run, but it may not be for everyone. If you do enroll, what factors should you consider when choosing a plan?

We receive a lot of questions from our patients about dental insurance, so we’ve compiled these frequently asked questions (FAQs) to offer general guidance on the sometimes confusing role of dental insurance.

If you need dental care for your family, contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care. We can help you understand the ins and outs of your insurance plan, and get you the care you need! Call our Greenville, SC, dental practice at 864-235-3949 to make an appointment today.

How much coverage do I need?

This is a complex question, and one that every family will need to consider individually. Most insurers offer basic and extended coverage, and the best way to decide between the two is to consider your predicted dental needs.

There are many factors you may want to consider:

  • Your dental history – If you are one of the lucky 1% of people who never get cavities, congratulations. But most of us are not in that group. The question of basic versus extended coverage may be easier to decide if you look at the restorations you’ve needed of the past several years. If your cavities are few and far between, and you do not miss dental appointments, basic coverage should be fine.
  • The size of your family – For families with multiple children, the costs of restorative dental care can become a major concern. Even if your children and spouse have healthy teeth now, the cost of fillings and root canals can add up quickly, should the situation should change. Keep in mind that the hormonal changes that accompany puberty can make children more susceptible to cavities.
  • Your age, lifestyle, and medical conditions – As a typical rule, any on-going medical conditions that contribute to your overall health should be considered from a dental point of view. Periodontal problems tend to show up during menopause, for example, and acid reflux can contribute to the erosion of your enamel. If you take medications on a regular basis, they may contribute to oral conditions such as dry mouth, which can make you more prone to tooth decay.
  • Your family’s dental history – If your dental history is checkered, or if your parents have had dental problems, you may wish to opt for more coverage, as many dental conditions have a genetic link.
  • Will my children need braces? – If you and your spouse needed braces as a child, it’s likely your children may need them as well.

If you are comparing dental plans and not sure how your family’s situation might be affected—call us and ask. What is a complex question to you is routine for us. At Carolina Oaks Dental Care, we always want to help our patients have the knowledge they need to make good decisions for their families.

What does most insurance cover?

Before you compare dental plans, it’s important to understand the different levels of dental care you may need. Most insurance plans offer very similar coverage, but you should know which differences to look for, based on your circumstances and predicted dental needs.

In general, most plans cover the following treatments:

  • Preventive Dentistry – These treatments get the most coverage, and many are 100% covered, depending on the provider. Preventive treatments are the cornerstone of modern dentistry, and include dental cleanings, exams, x-rays, and fluoride treatments and sealants for children.
  • Basic Restorations – This includes occasional restorative dentistry procedures such as dental fillings, root canal procedures, and periodontal therapy. Insurance usually pays for some of these costs, but the patient always pays a portion, usually 20-30%.
  • Major Dental Work – Patients often have to pay 40-60% for major dental procedures, such as wisdom teeth extraction, dental implants, crowns, and bridge work. This type of dental work is needed less frequently than basic or preventive care, but the cost of these procedures are much higher.
  • Orthodontia – Most comprehensive plans have some provision for orthodontia, but these can vary greatly. Consider and compare this carefully if you have children who may need braces in the future.

What’s the difference between a DHMO and PPO?

A DHMO is a plan that offers you dental care from a smaller list of contracted dentists. If you are looking for the most affordable plan that will benefit your family, A DHMO will get you the care you need. However, you may be more limited in your choice of dentists and services than with a PPO.

A PPO offers a wider network of providers to choose from in-network, and will usually cover out-of-network providers, though at a different rate. You will have more flexibility with a PPO, but the monthly cost will be higher than a DHMO.

Do I really need dental insurance?

While everyone should have medical insurance, there are actually plenty of people who may not need dental insurance. If you are a single person, whose teeth have always been in relatively good condition, there may not be a need for dental insurance at this time. It may actually cost you more to enroll in a plan than to pay for routine preventive and restorative treatments out of pocket.

If you are calculating the need for insurance, add up the cost of two routine preventive visits per year (dental cleaning and dental exam), along with the cost of one or two fillings. Emergencies notwithstanding, you may pay less without insurance coverage. If emergencies come up, many patients refer to companies such as CareCredit, which offer extended payment plans with little-to-no interest.

The best person to help you determine whether you need insurance is actually your dentist. It’s best to get a professional assessment of the general health of your teeth before you try to predict the future.

We do not recommend the no-insurance path if you haven’t been to the dentist for routine visits in a number of years. Avoiding dental visits is the best way to cause dental disasters. If you have gone without a dental disaster (and without routine care) for a period of time, there’s a good chance your lucky streak will end in the future!

Take the Time to Learn More

For more information, look to dental insurance sites that aim to inform, rather than sell. They can offer objective information that will help you compare plans and coverage options for you and your family. Your employer may have benefits comparison charts available, as well, so ask!

If you need dental care for your family, contact Carolina Oaks Dental Care. We can help you understand the ins and outs of your insurance plan, and get you the care you need! Call our Greenville, SC, dental practice at 864-235-3949 to make an appointment today.