Finding a good dentist can be as difficult as, or even more difficult than, finding a good doctor. It can be especially difficult for those of us who have extreme dental fears. At one time, going to a new dentist can be quite terrifying because of the techniques that dentists used to use. Today, there is little need for fear, because modern dentistry can be almost painless. But, before you can get any dental work done, you need to find a dentist. Here are some tips to help you find the best dentist for you and your family, including where to find a dentist and what to look for.
Where to find a dentist
The first thing you need to do is to start looking around for a dentist in your area. Most people start with Google.
“For example, if you live in Gainesville, VA you can search in Google “dentist in Gainesville VA” and see the results. Also, you can ask friends and family members who they recommend. Ask them about their experiences with their dentists, including how long office visits usually last, what treatments are offered, how long you will be stuck in the waiting room, if they deal with dental emergencies,and how billing is handled,” suggests Dr. Ahmed Ezze from Easy Dental Care.
Personal recommendations go a long way, so ask everyone you know who they trust with their oral hygiene.
If you are moving ask your current dentist to give some recommendations. Also, it’s a great idea to contact the American Dental Society to get references. Schedule a few consultations with dentists in the area to choose one you’re comfortable with. Pay attention to the nearest dental school clinic or hospital dental department, especially if it is affiliated with a major university.
What to look for in a dentist
Not all dentists offer the same services. For instance, some just deal with general dentistry, and don’t do any real amount of cosmetic dentistry. Here are some of the things to look for in a good dentist.
- Location – Obviously, one of the first things to look at is location. It is best to find a dentist that is near you, so you don’t have to travel for appointments. There are few things worse than having to drive for an hour or more after you have had any major dental work done and all you want to do is sleep.
- Office Hours – These days, not all dentists work a typical nine-to-five day. This is because there are so many people who work irregular hours, and they may not be able to get for appointments during regular business hours. Look for a dentist who works within your schedule so you always know that you will be able to get an appointment when you need one.
- Payments – It is particularly important that you ask about how billing is done. Make sure that the dentist accepts your insurance carrier. It is also good if they will offer a variety of payment options, including checks, credit cards, and payment plans.
- Your Fears – Some dentists actually advertise that they specialize in dealing with patients who have dental fears. If you are one of these patients, this is something that you definitely need to look into. You also need to know that your dentist is going to be willing to answer questions and make sure that you are comfortable with any procedures that they need to do.
- Qualifications – In addition to knowing where they attended dental school, there are other professional qualifications you need to look for. The staff should be more than willing to answer any questions you have about office hygiene, infection control, etc. You can also get a lot of information from your local dental society.
- Emergency Care – It is extremely important to find a dentist that offers after-hours emergency care. After all, not all dental emergencies are going to happen during regular business hours. You don’t want a dentist who is simply going to refer you to the emergency room at the local hospital. You want to know that your dentist is going to be there when you really need them.
Featured photo credit: Kawaii Tooth/Jenn and Tony Bot via flickr.com