Dental Implants dentist woman in white shirt holding blue plastic spoon

How to Choose a Dentist

When choosing a new dentist, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Most do not enjoy going to the dentist so it is important to find one that you not only feel comfortable with but that you know will do a good job. In order to help you find the best dentist here are a few things to look for:

  1. Reviews/Recommendations: Of course, one of the first and most obvious things to look for when searching for an experienced dentist is their reviews. You can look in a few different places to find reviews. First, you can look at a company’s website. Most companies will have a section on their website for reviews; however, these tend to only be the more positive ones so they may not give you a full view of what people have to say. Second, check a company’s Facebook and their Google My Business page (or Yelp). These platforms do not allow the company to easily remove negative reviews, so you know you are seeing a more complete overview. When you see a negative review, it is also good practice to note what the issue was and if the company replied to the complaint. Unfortunately, people have been known to go onto a company’s page just to drag them through the mud so seeing if the company replied professionally, is good practice. You can also ask your friends and family for their recommendations and who they enjoy going to. If you do not have anybody to ask you can go on platforms such as Nextdoor and ask your community for recommendations. 
  1. Certifications/Qualifications: Your oral health is important to your overall wellbeing so making sure your dentist is qualified is important. Many dentist offices will detail their qualifications or certifications on their website for you to see. Although you may not know what each certification means it can be important to see that your potential dentist has more than just a degree to their name. Seeing that they are a part of different dental associations and have received praise from their peers is a great way to know they are experienced in the field.
  1. Insurance: Unfortunately finding a dentist who works with your insurance is crucial. Dental procedures can be expensive, and most people can only afford to go to an office who works with their dental insurance. This may mean you cannot go to your top choice, but it is important to know before making an appointment. You will also want to know if they change their insurance partnerships in the future because this will cause you to have to find a new dentist. When you have found a dentist who seems to be someone you would like to work with give their receptionists a call and ask them what insurance companies they work with and what the coverage includes. This phone call will also allow you to get a feel for how the people at the office are and if they seem like people you would like to work with. 
  1. Visits: Once you have found a dentist who has good reviews, looks good online, and works with your insurance set up a first-time appointment so that you can get to know the dentist. Talk to them to see what the first step in would be becoming a new patient and set up an appointment. The best way to know if you have found the best dentist for you is to go to the office and get in the chair. You can see how the hygienists and dentist work and if you get along well with them. If you don’t feel comfortable with the people then you will dread going back and will be less likely to schedule appointments so it is best to go ahead and schedule an appointment to meet them.

When you give the office a call or when you have your first appointment there are also a few questions you should ask to make sure it is the right fit. 

  1. Do you offer any payment plans? As stated, before dental procedures can become expensive so knowing whether you can break the payments up or if the payment is expected in full is important.
  2. Do you offer any kind of free consultation? This is a good one to ask when you call the office to make your first appointment. A free consultation is a great way to meet the team with less pressure because you are not paying.
  3. What services do you offer? This can be a question that you may find the answer to online but knowing a dentist’s specialty is also important. There are some treatments such as gum grafts that only periodontists can perform so knowing whether your dental office offers these procedures can save you trouble in the future. 

These are just a few things to look for and questions to ask when starting your search for a new dentist. Going to the dentist can be stressful for many people so it is important to find an office who is full of people who make you feel comfortable and can help lessen this stress.