6 Top Tips on How to Choose the Right Dentist

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Wondering how to choose the best dentist for your needs?

Have you recently moved to a new area? Or are you looking for a new dentist because you’re dissatisfied with your current one? If so, then you’re probably wondering how to choose the right dentist. One that is trusted in the community and is proven to provide great quality treatment along with good service.

If you’re wondering how to find a good dentist in your area, we’re here to help. We’re going to give you some tips on what to look for, so keep reading as we help you find someone to look after you and your pearly whites.

1. Start simple by checking credentials.

With the wealth of options out there, you might not know where to start. The first thing you should do is check the credentials of the dentist. This will save valuable time and trouble down the road, letting you eliminate any options that could be trouble.

2. What type of dentistry are you looking for?

The term “dentist” is a broad brush that encompasses a huge range of care and treatments. While most dental practices will offer the treatments that you need for yourself and your family, there may come a time when you need a specific treatment.

There are some of the recognized dental specialties in the United States:

  • Dental anesthesiology.
  • Dental public health.
  • Endodontics.
  • Oral and maxillofacial pathology.
  • Oral medicine.
  • Orofacial pain.
  • Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.
  • Pediatric dentistry.
  • Periodontics.
  • Prosthodontics.

It’s helpful to know which of these specialties your dental office offers. While you can’t predict the future and know exactly what treatments you might need, you’ll know your own treatment history enough to be able to make reasonable assumptions about the care you might need.

3. Speak to friends, family, and the local community.

Word of mouth is a powerful thing, even in the digital age. It just takes one bad experience and a whole group of people will avoid a business. People tend to be less vocal about services or businesses they are satisfied with, so that’s where you’ll need to do a little of your own detective work.

If you’re new to an area, this might be difficult, but when you’re speaking to people, try asking where they go to the dentist, and if they’re happy with the service they get. 

Don’t take the comments as gospel, though. That goes for both positive and negative opinions. You’ll find that someone who has had a negative experience will be overly damning, and people who are happy might only have experienced the occasional check-up. Getting a broad range of opinions from a number of people will give you a better overall picture.

4. Moving home? Your current dentist could help.

If you’re looking for a new dentist because you’ve moved to a new area, it might be worth speaking to your existing dentist about any recommendations they may have for your new dental home.

Dental professionals tend to be well connected, through organizations like the National Network for Oral Health Access (NNOHA) and others who hold annual conferences. Members of these organizations adhere to a high professional standard, so you can be assured that if your current dentist recommends a fellow member, you’ll be receiving a high quality of care.

5. Read online reviews.

When we spoke about taking word-of-mouth reviews with a pinch of salt, it’s wise to treat online reviews with even more hesitation, thanks to the anonymity of online reviews.

That being said, a high number of negative reviews is something you most certainly shouldn’t ignore. If you’re reading through some, scroll past the vague reviews and look for one that is a more complete assessment of the service or treatment provided. That way you’ll know you’re getting a measured, considered opinion as opposed to an inflammatory response from an aggrieved patient.

6. Visit dentists’ websites and ask questions.

If you want to know more about a dental practice, it’s a good idea to get your information straight from the horse’s mouth. 

Most dentist’s websites will have an FAQ section where you should find answers to most of the questions you have. But if you still have questions, give them a call. It’s a great idea to arrange a walk-through visit and ask if you can chat with a member of management. Doing this will give you a good idea of the professionalism of the dental practice and its staff. By the end of a conversation you should feel confident in them, both for the quality and range of treatment they offer, and the way they treat their clients.

Now that you know how to choose the right dentist…

No more wondering how to choose the right dentist, because you can now be purposeful and intentional in your search without wasting any time. You’ll be able to have confidence in your choice if you do enough research and speak to a number of practices. And don’t forget, we’re here to help if you have any other questions about the top-rated dentists in The Villages.