It can be tough to find the right dentist. You might have just moved to a new area and don’t really know much about local practices, or maybe you have some specialized oral care needs. Here are some tips to help with your search.
- Ask for Recommendations
You have a lot of options to seek recommendations. See what your family and friends say about their dentists. They’ll be able to tell you how comfortable things are at their dentists’ offices – how friendly the staff is, what a typical appointment is like and how easy it is to schedule appointments among other things. If you’re moving or you need more specialized care like orthodontics, you can ask your current dentist for suggestions too. You may also be able to ask your doctor to see if he or she has any contacts or suggestions.
- Look at Reviews of Dentists in Your Area
One of the most informative things you can do when searching for a new dentist is to check online reviews. Most areas have their own local dental societies or associations, and the American Dental Association has a Find-A-Dentist registry available. You can search for dentists with different specialties in your area with either of these resources. Most dental practices will have a website and/or social media pages with client reviews available as well. Once you check the reviews, you’ll have an idea of the general office environment to compare your own first visit to.
- Shop Around
To make sure you find the right fit, try calling or visiting several dental practices before choosing one. This way, you’ll be able to ask any questions you have about the practice and the staff and see first-hand how comfortable you feel in the office. The FDA recommends this approach.
- Check the Backgrounds of the Staff
Most dental offices will have a staff listing on the practice’s website. A staff listing should have blurbs with a short paragraph on each dentist and hygienist associated with the practice, including things like where the staff member went to school and why they’re passionate about oral healthcare. This background information can help you learn more about the staff members as people too, which can help make the dentists and hygienists seem more familiar. If a practice in Dallas, Texas lists one of their hygienists as having attended Dallas Dental Assistant School, that hygienist is probably familiar with the local community.
Finding a new dentist can be intimidating, but doing research and asking questions can be a big help.