How to Choose a Dentist: The Complete Guide

Are you searching for a dentist? The good news is there are over 200,000 practicing dentists in the U.S. so you’re bound to find several dental offices near you.

The bad news? It isn’t always so easy to know which one is right for you and your needs.

Finding the right dentist requires doing a little bit of research. After all, you want one like this dentist in temple terrace fl that you feel comfortable visiting. Here are tips on how to choose a dentist you’ll love.

List Your Requirements

What are you looking for in a dental office? Do you want one that’s close to work, your home, or equally convenient to get to from either location? Do you desire a dentist that provides sedation dentistry to help you feel comfortable while having work done?

You may also prefer a dentist who offers evening and weekend hours to accommodate your busy schedule. Most importantly, if you have dental insurance you want to make sure the dentist is part of your provider’s network. Make a list of your basic requirements to keep in mind before you start your search.

Consider What Type of Dentist You Need

There are all kinds of dentists, from those that practice general dentistry to endodontists who specialize in root canals and orthodontists who specialize in straightening teeth. To help narrow down your search, consider the specific kind of dentist you may need.

Do you need a family dentist not just for you, but for your partner and kids? Or do you need someone who specializes in cosmetic dentistry who can makeover your smile?

If you’re nervous about receiving dental treatment, you may want to narrow down your list of contenders to only include dentists who offer sedation dentistry. If you need a child-friendly dentist for your kids who can put them at ease, you should be looking at pediatric dentists.

Most people need a general family practice for basic preventative dental care, but you may want to consider visiting a specialist if you have particular needs.

Ask Around

A good way to begin compiling a list of potential dentists is to ask around your social circle for recommendations. Ask friends, family members, and coworkers who they use for dental care and what they like most about them. People you know are very likely, to be honest about their experiences and if they encounter any problems with their current dental office.

You can also ask your social network connections for recommendations. Your primary care doctor may also be able to refer you to one or two in the area.

Conduct Searches

If you don’t have any promising potential dentists from asking others for recommendations, it’s time to do some searching on your own. Even just going to a search engine and inputting “dentist near me” should pull up several results.

The American Dental Association (ADA) website is a great resource for finding dentists who are ADA members near you. Simply enter your zip code and a list of ADA member dentists will come up, along with their specialty and where they went to school.

One downside to the ADA search results, however, is that they don’t include patient reviews. For that, you want to turn to Yelp and search for dentists in your area. If the dentist has claimed the Yelp page, you should also see some information about their office such as their hours and the services they provide.

Should you be alarmed if you see negative reviews for a dentist? It all depends.

If you see one or two unsatisfied patient reviews out several rave ones, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should dismiss the dentist. But if the reviews are overwhelmingly unhappy, you may want to pass on the practice and keep looking.

Visit Their Website and Social Media Channels

Once you have a list of dentists that meet your requirements, it’s a good idea to visit their website and social media channels to see how they present themselves. Does the dentist and their staff appear warm and friendly? Do they give an adequate description of their office, services, and how they help patients feel comfortable during visits?

The dental office’s social media channels can also reveal a lot about their vibe. If they like sharing the occasional joke and fun photos of their staff, that’s a clue that their office is relaxed and strives to make patients feel comfortable. They should also acknowledge followers’ comments and questions.

While you’re on the dental office’s Facebook page, read the recommendations section to see what patients are saying.

Schedule an Appointment

Once you think you’ve found the right dentist or dentists to consider, schedule consultations with them. Notice if they take you on time, how they and the staff makes you feel, if they’re wearing protective gear and following sanitizing procedures and their communication skills. You want a dental practice that is friendly, transparent, willing to answer your questions and address your concerns.

Bring your dental records with you if you have access to them and come with a list of questions. They should be forthcoming about any treatments you need and the cost of them.

You should feel free to visit more than one dentist and then choose the one that feels best for you and your needs.

How to Choose a Dentist

Take your time with this process, because you want a dentist you’ll be happy with. Now you know how to choose a dentist who will keep your smile healthy for life.

For more tips on how to find the right doctors so you’ll always look and feel your best, read the posts in our health archive.