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Choosing a Dentist: What Do You Look For?

Dentist shaking the hand of his patient with his assistant on the other side

You have to put a lot of trust in your dentist. So when choosing a new dentist for you and your family, it’s important to make sure that potential candidates deserve your trust. When researching your next dentist ask yourself the following questions. The answers you get will help you confidently choose the best dental care for your family.

Does anyone I know use this dentist?

If you need to change dentists because you are moving to a new community, seek a referral. Ask your family dentist for suggestions. Hopefully, your dentist knows you well as a patient and a person. If so they’ll be able to recommend a dentist that fits your family’s dental care needs and personalities. Friends and family are another great resource for referrals.

The next best thing is to visit your new dentist’s website. Check out how they present themselves. What services and features do they highlight? Do they focus on family dental care?  Many websites will also include testimonials and reviews from patients.

Are there any red flags?

Be careful of low prices. You get what you pay for and you don’t want to put your family’s dental health at risk. Look for a price that’s reasonable and beware of dentists that try enticing you with low low prices and free services. Excessive advertising that focuses on price and quick fixes are sure signs that your family’s health is not that practice’s priority.

Where is their office?

Now that you’ve narrowed down your options you should consider a visit. The office’s location should be convenient. Preferably near your home, workplace or your children’s school. Ask yourself questions like “are there spaces to park?” and “is it near public transportation?”.

What does their office look like?

Once you enter the office be aware of your first impression. Your gut can tell you a lot. Does the office look clean? Neatness and cleanliness keep you comfortable in the waiting room, but they also keep you safe in the dentist’s chair.

Who else is there? Are there other families in the waiting room? Some untidiness in the waiting area can be forgiven if children are playing with toys, or reading picture books. That’s also an indication that this practice focuses on family dental care. Strike up a conversation with another parent. They might have valuable insight into whether the dentist you are visiting is right for you.

How did the consultation go?

Meet with your next dentist before booking an appointment. Do they take the time to get to know you? Ideally, you want to create a lasting relationship with your dentist. Showing interest in you personally is a good sign. A good dentist creates a personalized dental care plan for their patients and their families.

How much jargon do they use? Communication between doctor and patient is vitally important. Your dentist’s goal should be clarity. Using medical jargon might overwhelm, intimidate or confuse. Do they take the time to explain any confusing terms? Do you feel comfortable asking for clarification?

You should feel comfortable with your dentist. After all you and your family will be seeing them at least twice a year. And being relaxed when you arrive for your visit will make everyone’s day more pleasant.

Entrusting your family’s dental care to a new person can cause anxiety. Just remember these simple questions, do your homework and you can feel good about choosing your next dentist.