The process of finding a new dentist can be intimidating.
Entrusting your health to a new doctor is an important decision. While there’s an abundance of highly-trained and qualified dentists, there are many considerations at hand that make it essential to weigh the pros and cons or each.
Yet, this only makes searching for a new dentist more difficult.
Keep in mind that it matters to know the dentist you are about to deal with. After all, it is with them you wholly trust with your oral health.
The big question now is, how do you pick the right one?
Here are the Three Critical Steps in Searching for a Dentist:
#1 Contemplating your dental needs
Before starting the search, it is fundamental to identify the underlying criteria that are most valuable to you as a unique patient.
Some important factors to keep in mind include:
- Location. Choose a dentist whose dental office is located close to your current home, school, or workplace. An easy way is to Google “dentist near me”.
- The dental work you require. Contemplate on what type of dentist you are searching for. You may be looking for a cosmetic dentist, a dental specialist, a pediatric dentist, a family dentist, etcetera. Fortunately, there will surely be the right dentist who can provide all of your needs.
- Insurance coverage. Carefully consider if your current plan covers dental services you need done. Additionally, check to see if your prospective dentist accepts your current insurance plan. If you do not have a current dental plan, you can find one from DentalPlans.com or even seek out dentists that align with your current plan.
#2 Finding the most relevant dentist
Consider soliciting referrals from family members, close buddies, colleagues, or even other dentists. These people may know a good dentist who they have dealt with for several years. Nevertheless, it is still imperative to double-check their credentials and reputation.
Our website has a comprehensive database of dental professionals that you can filter by name, location, and specialty. Once you click on a name, the page will redirect users to the dentist’s profile which showcases their specialty, educational background, and affiliation of the dentist.
Also consider checking online reviews of different dentists or dental offices through Google searches.
#3 Conducting further research on the dentists you come across
Think you’ve found that dentist? Found that they have good reviews and/or referrals from many credible sources? The next and last step is to educate yourself on this dentist to see if they have what you need.
A dentist’s website can be an excellent source of valuable information. They may list their specialties and/or before and after photos of previous patients. However, it is still better to personally get in touch with the dentist or visit the office for further investigation.
Remember, you deserve the best experience!
When conducting research on a dentist, consider the following:
- Education. Do you want a dentist with adequate training and education that aligns with your dental needs? How often do they attend trade shows, seminars, or other forms of continuing education to enhance their practice?
- Days and hours of operation. Will they accommodate patient emergencies after hours? Are their days and hours in alignment with your schedule of availability?
- Length of practice. Typically, the longer a dentist has been in practice, the more advanced they are in the dental world.
- First appointment expectations. Understanding what a certain dentist does during a first appointment is important. This can help you determine if a dentist may be competent in their field.
- Costs. You may only want a dentist who is willing to give you an initial cost before the procedure is completed to ensure you have the insurance coverage or out-of-pocket cash to pay afterward without dealing with late fees. Some dentists may ask that you even pay before the procedure. Others allow you to pay afterward.
- Sterilization of instruments and equipment. The dental office is one of the places where you may be prone to catching infection. It is thus important to find a dentist who is very meticulous about the cleanliness of his facility, staff, and him or herself. The advancement of technology and tools they utilize alone can tell you a lot about a dental office.
- Friendly, knowledgeable, responsive, and authoritative staff. Consider if your potential dental office’s staff are adequate in creating a great dental experience. They should be suitable for their position and have plenty of knowledge in their field, be patient-oriented, and be responsive to any questions or concerns you have. Many dental staff have been known to be the opposite, but keep looking until you find the perfect match, especially if you struggle with dental anxiety.