Questions to Ask When Looking for a Dental Office

It can be difficult to find a dental office that works for you and your child. This tip sheet provides examples of some questions that you can ask dental office staff before you decide to make an appointment.

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Finding a dental office that is best for you and your child can be hard. Here are some questions that you can ask a dental office before you decide to make an appointment.

A mom on the phone takes notes while daughter plays nearby

  1. Is there someone in your office who speaks _______ (for example, Spanish) and can translate?
  2. Does your office take _______ (your child’s insurance plan, for example, Medicaid or CHIP)?
  3. Is your office now seeing new patients with this type of insurance? When is the next appointment time for a new patient?
  4. Do the dentist and staff have any special training or experience treating young children?
  5. Are there children’s books or toys in the waiting room of your office?
  6. Where is the office located, and does any public transportation (for example, bus or train) stop nearby? Note: Head Start and some dental offices can help find a ride to and from the dental office.
  7. When is your office open during the day? Is the office open any evenings or on weekends?
  8. To prepare for the appointment, what information will I need to know to complete your paperwork? Do I have to bring any forms with me to the dental appointment (for example, an insurance card or a Head Start dental form)?
  9. What usually happens during a new patient appointment?
  10. Will my child need to come back for more appointments if the dentist finds a cavity?
  11. If an emergency comes up and I can’t bring my child in for the appointment, what should I do?
  12. Ask this question if your child has a health problem or needs extra help (for example, autism, cerebral palsy, asthma, epilepsy, or diabetes). My child has _______. Has the dentist or office staff worked with children who have this condition?

Topic:Oral Health

Keywords:Diseases, Dental care

Resource Type: Publication

Last Updated: May 7, 2019