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Best Dentist

What to Look for in Choosing the Best Dental Professional

Finding a dentist right for you and your family is no easy task.  And when it comes to your health, it is not something you want to take very lightly either.  There are hundreds to choose from; where do you start?

There’s the age-old ways of flipping open the yellow pages, and calling or picking randomly. Or 1-800 referral services that claim to make the process easier. And now with the internet at your fingertips, your ability to search becomes endless. But does that help your search or make it even more overwhelming?

Although finding your best dentist is important, it’s hard, if not close to impossible, to find some free time to do so. In the 21st century, we all lead busy lives with an endless laundry list of things to get done. That’s where we come in; a reliable resource to aide you in your search.

Here are some tips and guidelines to help you start your search productively and efficiently as well as things to keep in mind when choosing the dentist that’s right for  you:

  • Word of mouth is a powerful resource, and you can usually do well going off of referrals, but you should still consider YOUR needs from a dentist vs THEIR needs. Getting friend’s, family’s, and coworker’s opinions on dentist professionals is a great place to start, but keep in mind that a dentist that is right (or wrong) for them, may not be the same for you.
  • If there are specific things you are focused on in your dental care, pay attention to the specialty of a dentist. For example, if you know you need crown work done look for one who specifically mentions they specialize in that field. Or if you have difficulty with gingivitis, a periodontist may be right for you.
  • There are accreditations and memberships that may help you differentiate credible dentist professionals from those you may want to avoid; such as, American Dental Association (ADA) members, Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited, and local or state dental societies.
  • Ask your family doctor or local pharmacist if they have any recommendations or have heard or know anything that may help you in your search. Or if you’re moving, ask your current dentist for a recommendation.
  • Search sites where patients can rate their dental professional, such as this one. Pay attention to any comments giving you more in-depth information about the dentist and their practice.
  • Call before you visit. Sometimes simply talking to the office staff can give you an idea of how that office works. It’s a great way to feel out the personality and friendliness of the staff as well as get some of your questions asked before scheduling a preliminary appointment. Some good questions to ask are:
    • What do they specialize in?
    • What is the dentist’s approach to preventative dentistry?
    • How many patients do they treat now?
    • Do they accept your insurance?
    • What are their office hours (do they work well with your schedule)?
    • Where are they located (is it convenient for you)?
    • How do they handle dental emergencies, both during and outside of office hours?
    • Where was the dentist educated and trained?
    • How often does the dentist participate in continuing education and conferences?
    • What is the office’s policy on missed appointments?
    • Can they provide services for your entire family?

All of these suggestions can help point you in the right direction to help you find the  best dentist for you, but there is no substitution or guaranteed way until you visit them. If a dentist simply doesn’t feel right after a visit or two, don’t hesitate to try another! Comfort is key when it comes to your healthcare. You want a dentist that is someone you can trust and feel comfortable with.

If you believe you’ve found the best dentist, spread the word! Rate them on our site and tell us why. Help others find them as well!

Additional resources:

http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/find-a-dentist - search for an ADA member dentist in your area. You can also search by name and filter by specialty and distance.

http://www.dentalguideusa.org/state_dental_associations.htm - dental associations listed by state.