How to Find a Good Dentist in Your Area : Have you moved to a new area? Not happy with your current dentist? Or did you do something so embarrassing in front of your dentist you can never return?
Whatever your reason for finding a new dentist, there are some steps you can take to make sure you discover a dentist you’ll want to keep for life.
Keep reading to find out how to find a good dentist in your area who will keep your sparkly whites gleaming for years to come.
What Type of Dentist Do You Need?
Choosing a dentist first depends on whether you’re after a specialist in family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, or general oral healthcare.
Think about your long-term dental goals. Do you simply need a dentist for your regular checkups and cleaning, or do you want to whiten your smile? Perhaps you have children who may need braces.
Dentist practices may offer all or some of these options. Decide which types of dental work will be important to you in the near future – this will help you whittle down the list of potential dentists to check out.
How to Find a Good Dentist in Your Area That You’ll Actually Enjoy Seeing
Let’s be honest: nobody enjoys going to the dentist. But you can take the stress out of the experience by finding a dental practice that keeps you calm and makes visits as enjoyable as possible.
Choose a Distance Radius You’d Happily Commute for a Good Dentist
Decide how far you’d be willing to travel for your dentist appointments. There are several factors to consider, such as:
- Can you get there easily in rush hour?
- Is it near to your children’s schools for easy after-school appointments?
- Could you get there on your way to or from work with ease?
- How long are you willing to travel?This will help you determine the area you can use to search for your ideal dentist.
Use Google Maps to Find Local Dentists
When you’ve got the area locked down, take a look at Google Maps. A good dental practice will have a Google My Business listing, which means you’ll be able to see them on a map when you look for ‘dentists near me’ or ‘dentists near area x’.
Moving around the map in the area will reveal more business places – including other dentists. You can click on the pin on the map to find out more about each practice – including customer reviews.
Check Out Online Reviews
Google reviews are useful but can be misleading. People don’t have to prove they’ve been a customer of the practice before they leave a review – which means anyone can leave a negative review out of malice or business competition.
Google map reviews are a good place to start, but then try other third-party websites for more information, too. Sites such as TripAdvisor or Trustpilot can help you discover what customers say about the dental practices you’re researching.
Ask Friends and Family for Recommendations
Word-of-mouth is a very powerful research tool. We don’t want bad experiences to reflect on us, so it’s in our nature to only recommend businesses we know will provide a great service to our friends.
Ask friends and family who currently, or have previously, been to a dentist in the area you’re searching. They’ll be able to tell you which ones they would recommend – and also which ones they’d never suggest you go to.
Decide Your Dentist ‘Must-Have’ Qualities
Are you after a functional wham-bam-done no-frills dentist? Or do you need a luxury environment to put you at ease?
Perhaps you need a dentist with a certain amount of experience or one that offers easy-access out-of-hours emergency service. Decide what your dentist absolutely must offer – and what’s on your ‘nice-to-have-but-not-essential’ list.
Visit Dental Offices to Check Facilities
When you think you’ve found a potential new dentist, book a visit. Taking a look around the facility will give you a great idea of whether the place is a good fit for you.
Take time to speak to the staff and pay attention to whether they’re willing to talk to you or if they seem rushed. Spending time to answer your questions show they’ll value you as a customer.
Ask How Frequently Equipment Is Updated
While you’re checking out the dental practice, ask about their equipment renewal process. Old equipment won’t offer the best results – and also shows that money isn’t invested in patient care.
For example, handheld imaging devices use less radiation than wall-mounted units. While there is a need for the larger units, a dentist who has access to – and uses – handheld imaging units demonstrates awareness of patient health and safety concerns.
Query Appointment Waiting Times and Emergency Policies
How far in advance do you need to schedule standard appointments? If you’re looking at an exceptionally long waitlist for a normal appointment, this is a double-edged sword. It means your dentist is in high demand – but that you won’t be able to access them easily.
Ask about emergency policies, too. Find out how straightforward their dental emergency process is and what extra charges you may face.
Check the Dentist’s Affiliations
A good dentist will belong to one, or several, professional associations. This is an excellent sign: it means they’re committed to delivering great patient care and also continued professional education to stay ahead of clinical best practice.
You can check their membership of various associations, such as the American Dental Association or your state dental association.
Look After Your Oral Health at Home
You now know how to find a good dentist in your area – but looking after your oral and general health can save you from unwanted trips to the dental practice in the first place!
Check out our Oral Health blogs to find out more about how to stay fit and healthy – and how to get a shining smile at all times.
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