No-Nonsense Guide to Choosing Your Dentist

| September 24, 2017

choosing a dentistYour choice of dentist can be one of the most important factors in maintaining long-lasting dental health. But with so many dental offices out there these days, how does one go about finding a good fit?

There are several questions you should ask to determine if a dentist is the right one for you. And while some factors carry more weight than others, here are a few things to consider when doing your research.

Training

Dentists come with varying levels of training, which determines what procedures they are capable of performing and which ones they must refer to a specialist.

Many dentists list their education on their web site, and you can also research their level of education with your state dental board or with a brief call to their office. If their training is not readily searchable, that could be a sign to move on to someone else.

Range of Treatments Offered

This is another piece of information that can be easily found on the office’s web site. Particularly if you are seeking a dentist for more than a basic cleaning, knowing all the treatments of the office is critical.

It may also be important to learn whether the dentist can perform the treatment in-house or if he/she offers referrals to other offices.

Technology

The newest gadgets might not be important to you, but they can give you an idea of a dentist’s commitment to continually improving their level of care.

Using new technology can limit the amount of time you spend in the dentist’s chair as well as limiting the discomfort of a given treatment.

Get a Referral

There is no substitution for the opinion of someone you trust when it comes to finding a new healthcare provider. Ask friends and family in your area about their dentist and whether they are happy with their care.

And beyond your personal network, online resources, such as Angie’s List,  Facebook, Yelp and Google, can let you know how others are rating an office’s services.

Emergency Services Offered

They are not fun to think about, but dental emergencies are a fact of life. Knowing whether your dentist can see you during off-hours or weekends as well as how they go about treating an emergency like a broken tooth should be part of your decision.

The Office Experience

You may be one of the many people who gets nervous about going to the dentist. Many offices these days try to create a soothing experience for these patients, and that could be an important part of your decision.

This could include non-intrusive sedation before a procedure (like nitrous oxide) or even calming music and a welcoming atmosphere.

Ask Them Face to Face

Once you have narrowed down your list, nothing will have as much impact on your decision as meeting the dentist in person. Seeing his or her office with your own eyes goes a lot farther than static photos on a web site.

This will also give you a chance to see how they respond to your questions, meet some of the staff, and see if the atmosphere is right for you.

After Making Your Decision

Once you feel confident that a dentist is the right pick for you, it is time to schedule your first appointment and give him or her a try. It is important to remember, however, that your decision is not set in stone. At any point, if it feels that this is no longer the right fit, you are free to move on with your search.

If you are in the market for a new dentist office, feel free to contact our staff for an interview, some background on our services, or to just get a feel for our atmosphere. We are happy to answer any and all questions you have.