How to Choose a Dentist

If you find yourself in need of a dentist, the process of choosing one can be a difficult one.  Maybe you have moved to a new city and do not know the area well.  Perhaps your dentist has moved or retired.  Maybe you have not had any dental work since you were a kid. Whatever the reason, finding a new dentist can be tough.  Here are some tips to make the process a little easier.

Ask Friends and Neighbors for a Personal Recommendation

Without doubt, the best way to find a dentist you can trust is asking your friends and neighbors whom they trust for their dental care.  Ask about their personal experiences with their current dentists.  Rather than just asking, “Do you like your dentist?” ask questions that are more detailed.  Here is a list of good ones to ask a friend or neighbor when trying to find a dentist for you and your family.

  • How long have you been seeing this dentist?
  • What is a typical visit for a professional teeth cleaning like?
  • Do they have flexible hours for making appointments?
  • What about emergencies? Do they get you in right away?
  • How is the dental hygienist who cleaned your teeth?
  • Have you had any dental work performed there (aside from professional teeth cleanings)?
  • Do you take your kids there? Why or why not?
  • How easy is it to get an appointment scheduled for a professional teeth cleaning?
  • How easy is it to get an appointment scheduled with the dentist for dental work?
  • Do you get to see the same dentist at every visit?

Yes, you can answer a lot of these questions by perusing a dentist’s website or asking the receptionist on the phone.  However, asking someone about his or her personal experience with this office may give you a little better insight.

Check Reviews Online

In this day and age of connection and communication, you can learn a lot about a dentist by reading reviews online.  Checking out reviews on websites like Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, Facebook, and HealthGrades can give you some insight into a dentist’s overall reputation.

An important thing to remember about online reviews is that they do not paint a complete picture of a dentist’s true reputation or skills.  No dentist is going to make every patient perfectly happy, so bad reviews are not a deal breaker.  They simply help you to gain an overall impression of the office and its professionals.

Look for Involvement in Organized Dentistry

When you are looking through a dental practice’s website, read the bios of the doctors who work there.  They should contain information about the doctor’s educational background, and they should also contain any organizations the doctor is involved with.

An involvement in organized dentistry shows a commitment to the profession as a whole.  It indicates that this dentist invests in programs that help bring dentistry to people in need through charity events and political activism.  Most of these organizations also place a big emphasis on lifelong learning, so being a member of an organization like the Academy of General Dentistry shows that this dentist wants to continue to advance his dental knowledge and skills.

Look for Continuing Education

A practice website also will tell you whether or not the dentist or dentists consistently seek out further education.  Dentistry is constantly evolving. The last thing you want is a dentist who is stuck in the Dark Ages.

Sadly, the Continuing Education requirements to keep a dental license active are pitifully low!  You want a dentist who goes above and beyond the minimum requirement in order to keep providing the best quality of care possible.

Even though it can cause some conflicts in scheduling appointments, you want to have a dentist who takes time away from the daily practice in order to gain higher training and education in various areas of dentistry.  The time spent in continuing education benefits YOU, the patient!

Look for a Commitment to Advanced Technology

Dental technology is expensive!  A dental practice that invests in the latest advances does so in order to provide dental treatment that is safer, more efficient, and more comfortable for the patient.

When it comes to dental x-rays, newer technologies give us more information with less radiation, so it is safer!  When it comes to oral cancer screenings, our Identafi® system gives us quick answers to your level of risk for oral cancer.  As we learn about advanced technologies through our commitment to continuing education, we implement them for the benefit of our patients!

Check with Your Dental Insurance Company

This is not a bad way to find a dentist.  However, if it is the only step you take, you may end up in a long search for the right dentist.  Once you have gone through the other steps above, then check with your dental insurance carrier to see if any of the offices you have chosen is a provider with your insurance carrier.

The dental insurance company is not the place to start because they do not have any personal information about a particular dentist.  They only work with contracts and numbers.

Start with personal recommendations first, and then check with your dental insurance.

Call Premier Dental of Ohio!

At Premier Dental of Ohio, we have great reviews, we are in-network with many dental insurance carriers, and we have multiple locations to serve your family’s dental needs.  We are committed to continuing education and advanced technology, too!  Call your nearest Premier Dental of Ohio location to schedule a visit with one of our well-respected doctors today.