If you need to find a new dentist for you and your family, it’s not as simple as looking online and choosing one at random. In fact, there are several things to consider before deciding which dentist is the best choice for you. Here are a few things to consider before making that decision:
- Insurance: If you have dental insurance, you’ll want to be sure that the dentist you choose is on your list of preferred providers and/or that the practice accepts your insurance.
- Location: Choosing a dentist that is close to your home or office is just good common sense. It may be convenient for you if the practice is close to where you work, but if you need to transport your kids to and from appointments, it may be better to choose one closer to home.
- Services: While it’s true that most dentists provide the same basic set of services, you and your family may require certain dental care that is not offered by every practice. Some dentists advertise pediatric dentistry, for example, which is important for families with small children. If you’re an older adult, you may want to find a dentist that offers services more commonly needed by patients in your age bracket – such as partial dentures or implants, for example.
- Convenience: Most dental practices are open during the day from Monday through Friday, but if it’s hard for you to break away from work during regular business hours, you may want to find an office that opens early, stays open late, or is open on Saturdays.
- Emergency services: If you have a dental emergency – such as losing a tooth due to an accident, for example – it’s important that you are able to see your dentist right away. This can be particularly important if you have kids who are active in sports or other activities. Be sure your dentist will get you and your family members in right away and/or is available after hours in the case of an emergency.
- Referrals and recommendations: Check into what kind of reviews the dental practice has received online, and don’t hesitate to ask friends and family for a referral. Often, the best way to find a good dentist is to listen to the experiences of other patients.
A good way to start your search is to utilize the services of the ADA (American Dental Association). You can visit their website at www.ada.org to find a list of member dentists in your area.