In our previous blog series, we talked extensively about the importance of Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal to the underserved found throughout LA, here in Encino and Lake Balboa specifically, as well as the rest of California; one major component to ensuring that Denti-Cal as well as insurance is effectively used is educating the public on how to properly find a dentist near them that accepts their form of payment.
Your Dentistry Search Tools
The first step in your search for a new family dentistry is to analyze the tools at your disposal and choose how best to use them. In your specific instance, it may make sense to go with a referral from a family friend, use Google or another search engine, or even take advantage of a local, state, or federal research database. Today, we’ll outline the applications of each.
Word of Mouth
Many dentists, including the team at Balboa Victory Dental Office, receive a steady flow of referral patients. This makes sense, as people that live near one another tend to share good or bad experiences and provide recommendations for just about everything to one another. Finding out about a dentistry from an acquaintance is pretty powerful, as it shows that someone you place trust in also believes in the practice they referred you to. In a world full of marketing and advertising, this can be a precious lifeline.
There are, however, instances where this can let you down badly if you aren’t careful, most of which center around location and price. Just because the location of the practice they referred to you is convenient for them, this does not mean it will necessarily be convenient for your family. For instance, a dentist close to home but far from work or school may be difficult to visit during work days and closed on the weekend, making it far less convenient. Likewise, your well-intending referral can neglect the fact that not all dentists accept every type of insurance or provide car to those on Medi-Cal; if you schedule an appointment with a dentist that does not accept your form of payment, then you’ll be left in a tough spot.
To find a dentist near you, the fastest way to do so is simply to type “dentist near me” on Google or your chosen search engine, then comb through the results to find one you’re satisfied with; here in Encino, you will likely come upon Balboa Victory Dental Office (maybe that’s how you found this blog!), whereas if you’re searching in Albuquerque, NM, you will not see us, but a number of dentists where you are. This is largely due to what search engines refer to as “geotargeting” or “geocaching,” which basically means that the search engine is treating where you’re searching from more important than the exact words that you’re searching. Confused? That’s okay! Think about it like this: There is probably a large dentistry chain that would normally appear first on the search results for the exact search “dentist near me,” no matter where you’re searching from; Google determines that this is not what you’re looking for, and instead opts to heavily favor options that are near where you are right now to determine what you most likely meant by “dentist near me.” If you search from the Encino or Balboa Lake neighborhoods of Los Angeles, Google will basically interpret your search of “dentist near me” as “dentist near where I am, in Encino, Los Angeles, California,” which is both useful and interesting. From there, you’ll be able to look through the results that appear first; you’ll want to check the “payment” and “services” tabs to ensure that the dentist you’re looking at accepts your chosen method of payment and provides the services you need.
Online Resources & Databases
If you’re unsure whether or not a particular dentist accepts your Medicaid benefits, such as Medi-Cal/Denti-Cal, then you can use the wonderful tools provided by Denti-Cal for Medicaid patients to quickly determine which dentists near you can and will accept your forms of payment. There are also numerous resources put out about Medicaid coverage that the federal level, which can help in determining what your situation would be like in other states, should you be contemplating a move. While most Medicare plans don’t cover dental services at all, there is a good amount of information available online about Medicare supplementary insurance for dental services. For those with individual dental insurance, whether directly or through an employer, talk with your insurance provider directly for coverage limitation questions.
Contact Balboa Victory
We would be happy to help with your dental services if you live or work near Encino and Balboa Lake. Our dentist is proud to be able to accept patients that speak English, French or Spanish as their primary language, plus we accept most major insurances and are a proud Denti-Cal partner. Reach out to our friendly staff today to learn how our dental services can help your family.