Looking for a New Dentist? Here’s How to Find the Best Fit
Looking for a new dentist is a big deal. You’re not just searching for someone to clean your teeth. The right dental practice allows you to feel comfortable and safe, whether you’re going for a routine procedure or a dental emergency. Here’s what the American Dental Association suggests you do to find the best dental fit for you and your family.
Start with the Basics
Regular visits are critical to a healthy smile, so start with the details that work best with your lifestyle and dental care needs. Some things to consider include:
- Is the office easy to get to from your home or job?
- Do they have convenient office hours?
- If you have dental benefits, is this dentist in your network?
- Doctor-patient communication is essential. Do you need translation or interpreter services?
- Is the dentist a member of the ADA? (Learn about the 5 promises all ADA dentists make to their patients.)
Launch the Search
Now that you’re looking for a dentist, you’re probably noticing advertisements online, in the newspaper and even in your mailbox. Social media sites may also have patient reviews of dentists near you, but remember that every person’s dental health needs and experiences are their own.
Here are some great places to start looking for a dentist:
- The ADA’s Find-A-Dentist tool. Search by name and, location and specialty.
- Your local dental society. This organization can give you a list of dentist’s names in your area.
- A trusted friend or relative. If your mother says she loves her dentist, check them out!
- If you don’t have benefits or have trouble affording dental services, your local health department or nearby dental schools can help you find care. Here are some helpful resources.
Once you’ve found a few good candidates, visit their websites and see if their offices are on social media to learn more about them.
Meet and Greet
To find the right dentist, don’t be shy about calling or visiting the dentists on your list before deciding. “Schedule consultation time with the dentist to meet with the dentist and staff before making an appointment,.” “Make a list of questions and bring your records so the dentist can take a look at your dental history if you want to ask something more specific.” You’ll also be able to see if the office is welcoming, comfortable, and neat.
A few questions you might want to ask are:
- Will the dentist explain ways to help you prevent dental health problems? Is dental health instruction provided?
- How do the dentist and office staff handle emergencies outside of office hours?
- Is the office staff familiar with your benefit plan, and do they offer financing options for treatment costs?
- Will your medical and dental history be recorded and placed in a permanent file? Make sure to share past dental experiences or dental concerns, including any anxiety.
Source: American Dental Association, How to Choose a Dentist
Remember, healthy teeth make a healthy smile!
Dr. Nishan Halim
Nishan Halim, DMD specializes in adult and pediatric restorative and cosmetic dentistry, as well as preventive dentistry, which is at the heart of this Capitol Hill, Washington DC neighborhood dental center. Contact Dr. Halim to schedule an appointment and find out how his comprehensive approach is best for your situation.