How to Select a Great Dentist
Maybe you’ve moved, switched jobs and you’re looking for a new dentist. Perhaps you don’t have a dentist or you simply want to try something new. While we hope you’ll choose us, here are some tips to help you find a perfect match:
- If your search is due to a move, ask your current dentist for a referral. They might know somebody or have a colleague in the area.
- Ask your friends, family or co-workers. It’s highly likely that one of them has a great dentist they can recommend.
- Ask your medical doctor or a pharmacist. Ask them who they see or who they would choose if they were you.
Once you’ve found a few promising candidates, it’s time to check their online presence:
- Visit their website. Do they reveal their patient care philosophy and volunteer information about themselves, their training and practice history?
- Check out their social media sites. Look for authentic patient reviews. Don’t be dissuaded by an occasional less-than-glowing review. Everyone’s dental health and expectations are different.
- Visit your state’s or national dental association’s website. Member dentists must usually take a pledge to put your health and well-being first and to treat you ethically and honorably.
Now that you have several prospects, it’s time to dig a little deeper:
- Is the practice easy to get to? Is it near your home or workplace?
- Are their practice hours convenient? Will you need early morning, evening or Saturday appointments?
- Will you need translation or interpreter services? If so, is someone on his or her team fluent in your primary language?
- When an[e]sthesia is necessary to help you relax and feel more comfortable, what type(s) do they offer?
- Are they committed to preventive dentistry? Will the dentist explain ways to help you avoid common dental health problems?
- Do they have a missed-appointments policy? What type of notice to they require?
- How do they respond to after-hour emergencies? Are they able to field such requests or do they have agreements with a colleague or an emergency service?
Your Internet search and telephone interviews should narrow the field. Then, to be thorough, consider visiting the practices of your top picks. Here’s what to keep in mind:
- If you’ll be driving, is there plenty of parking? It is easily accessible? Are they near public transportation options?
- Does the dental staff courteously answer your questions? Do they volunteer information? Are they enthusiastic about the practice? These can be important clues.
- Is the practice neat, clean and orderly? Do the reception area and work areas appear clean and organi[z]ed?
- Do the furnishings and equipment appear up-to-date? Do they seem to be keeping up with the latest innovations and procedures?
The result of this methodical approach is most likely to yield a great fit. Be sure to share your previous dental experiences or any concerns or apprehensions you may have.
After such a rigorous selection process, there’s only one thing left to do: follow your dentist’s recommendations!