Finding the Right Dentist in 5 Simple Steps

Many people have calendars in their homes, whether they be digital calendars or wall calendars hanging up in the kitchen. There are plenty of events that fill the calendar, from soccer practice reminders to birthdays to, ugh, dentist appointments.

Going to the dentist is a necessary visit that for many of us, feels like a necessary evil. The only thing enjoyable about going to the dentist is leaving. There’s never anything comfortable about having someone stick their hands in your mouth for hours at a time, telling you how you should brush more or asking you when the last time you flossed was. But through all that, it’s great for your health.

Trying to respond is impossible because you can’t move your tongue or lips and when you do, the dentist reminds you that you need to keep your mouth wide so they can work.

a dentist
A dentist; image source:

While you try to block out the negative sides about going to the dentist, you do actually need to go to the dentist. But how do you find the right one to go to?

Ask Around

Word of mouth is still the strongest form of advertising, and it’s great for recommendations on both doctors and dentists. Ask any family members or friends in the area for their experiences and recommendations. You never know who might have had the best experience or worst experience on their own.

After that, cross-check their recommendations with reviews on Google and Yelp. 5 stars is always optimal, but as long as the reviews seem positive it’s good to go.

If you’re completely new to the area, you could start out by looking at the American Dental Association’s homepage for dentists in your area. Check them out their online reviews as well to determine if they would be a good fit.

Do the Logistics Line Up?

When you’re looking for a romantic partner, you’re going to be seeing if you both have similar interests and values. When looking for a dentist, you should be checking out other things first.

Is their location close to home or work? Do their hours coincide with your work or life schedule? Is their office in a safe location?

There are plenty of questions you should  be asking about the logistics, but the most important one is: do they accept my insurance? Unfortunately, dental insurance is never a blanket policy and you may have to do some digging before you find a dentist that accepts you insurance.

Are They What I Need?

For the majority of people, a simple cleaning every six months is what they require from their dentist. For others though, that may not be the case.

Check to see if your dentist has any specializations that may line up with you or your family’s needs. If not, be sure to start asking around for recommendations again. You could have a regular dentist who knows an orthodontist and vice versa.

Feeling Comfortable

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As mentioned above, going to the dentist isn’t a joy-ride for most. It’s simply something that must be done so your teeth don’t start falling out.

It’s important, however, to feel comfortable with your dentist. You can see what kind of techniques they use, if they support sedation dentistry or anything else.

Asking around is one way to get a sense of how they work, but you should also feel free to pay them a visit. You can talk to their staff and take a quick look around the office before you make your final dentistry decision.

The Appointment Isn’t the End

If you’ve finally gone in for your appointment, don’t feel like you’re going to be tied to that dentist forever. There isn’t any experience like real, first-hand experience meaning you might have to go the distance to find out if this was the right choice.

If you don’t feel like your dentist makes you feel comfortable or even with all the recommendations they were too far out of the way, you can start the process from the beginning. Or perhaps you had a second choice lined up that would be ideal for you.

Remember, this is your dental health and ultimately your choice. Do whatever you need to do in order to feel healthy, safe and comfortable in the dentist chair.


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