23 South Main Street
Travelers Rest, SC 29690

Things to Consider When Choosing a Travelers Rest, SC Dentist

Things to Consider When Choosing a Travelers Rest, SC Dentist


Finding the best dentist for your family may seem like an uphill battle, but there are many caring, qualified dentists out there. These helpful tips will help you organize your priorities before you start.

If you are looking for dental care in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, call Carolina Oaks Dental Care and interview one of our friendly dentists. Call us today at 854-836-8416 for a meet-up with Dr. Preston Hamrick.

Before You Begin

Before you start looking for a dentist, check with your dental insurance for a list of providers. If you have a dental health maintenance organization (DHMO) your options may be more limited. Don’t waste time researching dentists you won’t be able to visit. Many insurers have searchable data available online, but your customer service hotline should be able to help, as well.

You will also need to think about what type of dental office you’re looking for. A large practice that sees many patients at a time may be ideal if you’ll schedule dental visits during your lunch hour, for example, so you can get in and out quickly with little fuss. If you want a smaller, patient-centered experience, look for a more family-oriented dentist that schedules only one person at a time.

A Good Relationship

Good relationships are the key to every positive experience, so look for a dentist you feel comfortable with. This may be hard to gauge at first, but interviewing potential dentists gives you the chance to spend a few moments in their company and ascertain whether you feel valued and respected. There’s no way to guarantee you’ll always have positive experiences at the dentist, but asking some of the suggested questions (below) may help you understand each dentist’s personal style of communicating with patients.

As you take in a dental practice, think about how the rest of your family will react to the staff, office, and dentist. If your children or spouse have special considerations (dental or otherwise) mention them and see how the dentist reacts. Ultimately, finding a dentist you can trust comes down to personality and communication. When you’ve found someone you like, you’ll know it!

Qualifications and Recommendations

Most people look to family, friends, and neighbors for recommendations for a good dentist. This is a good starting place, but be sure to ask your friends what they like about their dentists. Keep in mind, you may have different priorities. One friend may value a calm, adults-only atmosphere, while another likes how well her dentist handles rowdy children. Ultimately, there are so many great dentists out there that a personal recommendation may not be needed, if you know what you are looking for.

If you are new to the area, and don’t yet have a community to ask for recommendations, check out sites that review service providers, such as Yelp or Healthgrades. Any dental practice can put positive testimonials on its website, but independent sites show you the positive and negative impressions other patients have felt compelled to share. Take emotional posts with a grain of salt, however—helpful reviews will be calm and detailed.

Any dentist can put certificates on the wall, but true credentials are verifiable. Before you decide on a dentist, be sure to check your state’s professional licensing board to make sure he/she is licensed to practice dentistry in your state.

Look for a Well-Oiled Machine

This might go without saying, but if you’ve ever worked in a poorly-run business, you know the signs of dysfunction. Employees may turn over at a high rate, or policies may be vague and disorganized. A good way to screen out any potentially problematic options is to call the dentist’s office ahead of time and speak to someone at the front desk. Ask a few questions and listen carefully to replies. Is the staff member positive and confident? Does she know the answers to your questions and seem knowledgeable, overall? Feel free to ask a question that may throw her off guard, to see how she reacts. “How many complaints do you get? What do patients say when they are upset?” It’s a good sign if they give honest answers that don’t diminish the professionalism of the dental practice.


If your job and home are in different areas, think about accessibility before you start your search. You may wish to have a dentist near one, rather than the other, or you may want a dentist whose office is centrally located.

Ask about office hours before you choose, as well. If there’s a particular day of the week that’s ideal for your appointments, you don’t want to discover down the road that they are closed on that day. Will you schedule your visits in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Make sure your dentist’s office hours are compatible with your predicted schedule.

Topics to Ask About

  • How do you manage dental anxiety?
  • How do you care for active children, or shy children?
  • What’s the cancellation policy at your office?
  • What are your hours and days of operation?
  • What dental technology do you use?
  • What happens if I have an after-hours emergency?
  • Who will perform my cleanings and fluoride treatments?
  • How long has your practice been open?
  • Do you have high staff turnover?
  • Can you text appointment reminders?
  • Will I be able to reach you or your staff by email?
  • Does your office handle insurance claims?
  • Which areas of dentistry are your specialties?
  • What was your favorite part of your education/training?

Ultimately, there are many good dentists just about everywhere. We’re certain you’ll find a dentist that’s right for your family. Plan your search ahead of time, keep an open mind, and trust your gut. You can’t go wrong!

If you are looking for dental care in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, call Carolina Oaks Dental Care and interview one of our friendly dentists. Call us today at 854-836-8416 for a meet-up with Dr. Preston Hamrick.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Insurance

Dental insurance is rarely linked to health insurance, so it falls on us to enroll in dental programs. This begs the question: do I need it? And if so, how much? The answer depends on your health, your family, and what you can predict may happen in your future.

At Carolina Oaks Dental Care of Travelers Rest, we get a lot of questions from patients about dental insurance. We hope these frequently asked questions (FAQs) can help you understand your options and the circumstances that should influence your enrollment decisions.

Do you have questions for Carolina Oaks Dental Care about your dental care and coverage? Contact our Travelers Rest, SC dental practice at 864-836-8416 to talk to our staff.

Do I need dental insurance?

While dental care costs can be considerable, there are cases in which it is more affordable not to enroll in dental insurance.

You may not need dental insurance if:

  • you are a single person,
  • you are in a good state of oral health, and
  • you see a dentist regularly for preventive treatments and dental cleanings.

If you are only likely to be paying for routine, six-month preventive visits, plus the occasional cavity filling—it may be wise for you not to enroll at this time. Compare the costs of these visits to insurance costs, to know for sure.

However, there is always the possibility of accidental dental injury. The most common cause of knocked-out teeth is from accidents that happen when playing sports. If you engage in sports, motorcycling, or other activities that could lead to dental trauma, ask your medical insurance if they cover those sorts of accidents before you deny yourself dental insurance. You don’t want to wind up losing a tooth and having to pay for a dental implant on your own!

What does dental insurance cover?

The amount of money you will have to pay out of pocket varies quite a bit for dental treatments. Preventive treatments, such as routine six-month visits, exams, and fluoride treatments get the most coverage. Often you pay nothing at all for these services.

For basic dental restorations, such as fillings, root canals, and periodontal therapies, insurance will cover the bulk of the cost, but patients usually pay about 20-30%. More advanced restorations you are not likely to need too frequently, such as bridges, crowns, and dental implants, usually require a greater patient contribution, often as much as 60%.

Most plans have a basic provision for orthodontia, but patient costs are significant. If you have children who may need braces in the future, this may be a deciding factor in the type of plan that you choose.

How much coverage should I consider?

Most dental insurance plans offer two levels of dental insurance, basic and extended. You pay more for the latter, obviously, but in some cases you will save money with greater coverage.

You may benefit from the extended plans, based on:

  • The Size of Your Family – Even with excellent preventive care, the need for occasional fillings or orthodontia can lead to heavy out-of-pocket costs if you have multiple children. If your family is large, or if you plan for it to be one day(!), you may want to look carefully at the differences between basic and extended coverage before making a choice.
  • Your Dental History and Family Dental History – Look at the type of dental work you have needed in the past. Are you one of the lucky few who never gets cavities, or are your teeth prone to decay? Also consider your parents’ dental health. Many dental conditions have a genetic link. If your parents needed a lot of dental work or periodontal treatments, (or lost their teeth), you may want to play it safe with an extended package.
  • Your Overall Health – Dental and overall health are more connected than people realize. Chronic health concerns frequently have a negative impact on your teeth and gums. For example, diabetes, acid reflux, and many other health conditions often go hand-in-hand with oral health problems. Pregnancy and menopause can require more frequent dental visits, as gingivitis and gum disease frequently begin during times of hormonal changes. If you take medications regularly, you may develop dry mouth, which contributes to tooth decay.

What are DHMOs and PPOs?

A DHMO is a dental plan that only allows you to choose from a small list of contracted dental providers. They are more affordable than other plans, but you will be more limited in the dentists you can choose from.

PPOs offer a wider network of dentists to choose from, and will even cover out-of-network providers, though at a different rate. You will definitely have more flexibility with a PPO, but monthly costs will be higher than those of DHMOs.

Learn More Before You Choose!

If you want to make sure the dental plan you select is right for your family, take the time to read about them carefully. As your employer to provide side-by-side comparisons of the plans they offer—they probably already have these ready for you, to help you with your decision. You can also find out more information on dental insurance sites that aim to inform, rather than sell. There is a wealth of information available online, once you start looking for it.

Do you have questions for Carolina Oaks Dental Care about your dental care and coverage? Contact our Travelers Rest, SC dental practice at 864-836-8416 to talk to our staff or make a dental appointment.