How to Choose a Dentist

Choosing a dentist is an important decision that can have long lasting effects on your dental health.  The best time to choose a dentist is when you don’t need one.  This gives you time to do your research and prevent “emergencies” from arising.  Here are some tips to help you make your decision.

Credentials

Make sure the dentist has a degree from a reputable, accredited dental school and are licensed in your state.  Check online review sites such as Yelp to give you an idea of the overall patient experience or Google their name.

Convenience

Choose a dentist conveniently located, relatively close to your home or work. Their office hours should be conducive to your schedule as well.   If you have to travel too far or miss work, you’re more likely to miss appointments and regular checkups.

Find out if the dentist participates in your dental insurance program, if you have one.

Ask them questions:

  • What is their approach to preventive dentistry?
  • What type of anesthesia is the dentist certified to administer?  Are they equipped to help you stay pain free and relaxed during your procedures?
  • What are their areas of expertise?  How much experience do they have with treating your particular complaint?
  • Discuss fees and financing options prior to procedures.

The Dental Office

Is the office clean and orderly?  Is equipment well maintained?  Is the staff helpful and friendly?

Your dental visits should be pleasant experience.  Talk to the dentist and make sure you are comfortable with him or her and you have a good rapport.

Beware of…

  • Dentists that make outrageous claims.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Dentists that hard sell vitamins and dietary supplements.
  • Dentists that routinely use IV sedation or overemphasize “twilight sleep.”

Take the time to find a dentist that you are comfortable with so you’re likely to go to routine visits.  Early detection and maintenance will prevent pain, expense and disease in the future.

 

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