Although it may not seem like it, dental practices are everywhere — even in towns that don’t boast a huge population. If you live in a big city and you don’t already have a dentist you trust, it can be overwhelming figuring out the best dentist for you in your area. The following tips can help you make the right choice for you, even with so many options — ahem — in your face.
1. Ask friends and/or family. What better people to ask than those you already trust and have a relationship with. It’s always helpful to ask for feedback from people that already visit the dentist of interest. Consider some of the following questions to ask of them: how easy is it to schedule an appointment? how friendly is the staff? how friendly is the doctor and how good is his or her work?
2. Check out online reviews. Online review sites such as Google or Yelp can offer great insight into the practice from existing patients. If a practice has a large number of positive reviews, you can bet on having a similar experience. It’s especially helpful to hear from a long-term patient as to how the practice has progressed as well as a new patient’s experience.
3. Have some questions to ask. Take time to consider what’s most important to you in a dentist. Is their clinical experience and training key? Do you want the latest in office amenities to make your treatment more comfortable? Does the practice offer sedation dentistry for nervous patients? What about the latest technology? Have a list of questions ready about issues that are important to you when you call to schedule your checkup.
4. Evaluate convenience. Convenience can mean any number of things to you, such as location, office hours, available emergency care, evening and weekend availability, or their fees and payment plans. Consider what convenience means to you before calling a prospective dentist.
5. Evaluate the professionals. Consider how compatible your family and this prospective dentist are: Some dentists specialize in things that your family doesn’t need. If you’ve
completed your due diligence in checking out the practice, you still might not know how compatible you are until your first visit. Sometimes, their methods just aren’t what you’re looking for, despite the credentials. Don’t be afraid to simply trust your instincts.