Finding the Right Dentist For Your Family
Finding a dentist near you that the whole family appreciates is never an easy task. You want to find an expert local dentist who cares about the health and well-being of your family, but how do you get complete information like that from a listing? Finding the right dentist for your family is more than choosing from names on a page, it is about asking the right people the right questions. To ensure that you find the right dentist, the American Dental Association (ADA) has compiled a guide to help you make the best choice for the oral health care of you and your family.
How to Find Local Dentists
- If you are in the process of moving, ask your current dentist if he or she has any recommendations or connections to put you in touch with local dentists at your new destination.
- If you have family in the area, get their recommendations.
- Get to know your neighbors and coworkers and ask for recommendations from people who are familiar with the area.
- If you have a relationship with a local physician or pharmacy, ask for their recommendations for local dentists.
- Contact the state or local dental society, which may be found on ADA.org or in the telephone book under “dentists” or “associations.”
- Do an online search for “find a dentist near me” or “local dentists” and read the reviews. Gather information and inquire further about your top choices with friends, family, and coworkers.
- Visit the local dentists you are deciding among before you make a final decision. Get a feel for the ambiance, the friendliness of the staff and, if possible, the dentist. Your comfort level with the environment is a big part of how you will feel about your routine visits.
How to Determine the Right Dentist
You need to be comfortable with your dentist; after all, you are partners in your oral healthcare. You not only want to find a dentist near you, but you need to find someone who genuinely cares about the health of you and your family and someone that you don’t mind visiting at least twice per year. Ask these questions when considering local dentists:
- Experience and Expertise: Where was your dentist educated? Where did he or she complete training? How often does the dentist attend continuing education opportunities?
- Scope of Practice: What are the dentist’s views on preventive dentistry? Wisdom teeth? Orthodontics?
- Anesthesia: Is the dentist certified to administer anesthesia? If so, which forms? Does the dentist offer anesthesia for comfort and relaxation during complex visits or only for specific procedures?
- Location: Is the dentist easy to get to from work, home, and your child’s school?
- Office Hours: Are they convenient for your schedule? Does the dentist have emergency hours available too?
- Missed Appointments: What is the dental office’s policy on missed appointments?
- Fees: Is information about pricing, fees, and payment plan offered up front when the treatment is scheduled? If not, what are the prices of common procedures, such as basic cleaning, oral exams, full-mouth x-rays, and cavity fillings?
- Insurance: Does the dental office accept insurance? If so, which plans? What is covered by your plan?
- Environment: Does the office appear to be clean and organized? Do all surfaces and equipment in the treatment room appear clean?
- Dental Staff: Is the staff helpful and willing to answer your questions? Do you observe the dentist and staff wearing gloves and other protective gear during patient treatment?
Take your time and perform complete research. Don’t just choose any dentist, choose a dental care office that has your best interests in mind and makes you feel comfortable every time you visit.